September 25, 2009
Chad Love: Friend Bucks on Facebook
By Chad Love
Facebook, it seems, is becoming THE dominant social networking medium for keeping up with friends, family, business associates and people who in high school never knew you existed but for some inexplicable reason now feel compelled to be your friend. It's literally everywhere.
And with that level of saturation it was just a matter of time before Facebook- like a mutant virus- jumped species and began infecting the animal kingdom.
From the story:
KAMPALA, Uganda — Facebook has long been the place to keep up with your favorite party animals, but soon it'll help you keep up with real ones, too: Africa's endangered mountain gorillas. The Uganda Wildlife Authority is launching a program on Saturday to let people use www.friendagorilla.org or the social networking sites Facebook or Twitter to follow one of the gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. For a minimum donation of $1, people can "friend" a gorilla to view videos and photos of their new buddy, plus track the gorilla's movements via the Global Positioning System.
In truth it's a very cool concept for a very worthy cause, but it got me to thinking: how long before the trophy hunting industry latches on to this idea? The possibilities are endless in a sort of creepy, unsettling way. You "Friend" your pre-picked trophy long before hunting season and then follow its daily routine via game cams and GPS through the course of the year. It's not unlike the remote hunting controversy from a few years back, but on a more involved, intimate level.
I have no idea if there is anything like that either operating or planned, but the technology is certainly there right now if someone wanted to. The question is: would you want to?