Photo: Anthony Quintano, flickr.
CANADA—Twitter launched a new app and it’s already popping up in unwanted places. Less than two weeks old, Periscope has a lot of people talking. And watching.
“This is the best thing to happen to the Internet since porn!” raved Ted Unger. “Now I can pull out my phone anywhere and within minutes I’ll find some girl showing off her new tank top. Ain’t technology great?”
Periscope is a social media tool designed to let the user broadcast live video. But in today’s world of instant gratification and poor judgment, it’s also a way for people to share their everyday lives. Inevitably, that which was meant to be good, clean fun becomes an opportunity for miscreants to prey on unsuspecting targets.
“Me and Angie were having a dance party on Periscope,” said 14-year-old Jenny Bernstein. “Some of our friends were sending us hearts and talking to us in the chat room. But then there were some old men I didn’t know asking us to jump around more.”
Dubbed “selfie live”, the new app has spawned some vigilante watchdogs. Known as “peri-dads”, these individuals troll Twitter feeds in an effort to protect the innocent.
“I have a daughter,” explained Justin Tellman, “and I cannot stand by while these online perverts get off on girls who think a popsicle is just a popsicle. This free app is a voyeur’s wet dream.”
Tellman says his interventions aren’t always welcome. “I’ve been kicked out of chat rooms for trying to explain to the young ladies how their hair braiding and pedicures are being misconstrued by davelittle88. They yell at me and say I’m not their dad and then the perverts chime in, too. It’s rough when that happens because my good intentions unite the lurkers and the girls.”
Although there are plenty of ne’er-do-wells on Periscope, it also has its share of innocuous users. Anyone interested in watching a guy watch tv or watching a woman feed her cats will also be satisfied.