Gawker is launching their new map feature today. It's a pretty simple concept: each day they'll have an intern manning an email address, and as "Gawker Stalker" missives come in, the intern will plot them on a map. This way, you can stalk your favorite celebrities in real time. Why you would want to stalk Lindsay Lohan is beyond us-- but that's an entirely different story. The new map feature brings up some obvious security and privacy issues. The Daily News gets the requisite PR flack quotes:
"As innovative as it might be, it dangerously puts these people in harm's way. Somebody's going to get hurt," warned flack Leslie Sloane Zelnik, who reps Lohan, Britney Spears, Ashton Kutcher and other soft targets.
"These people are trying to lead a normal life, and I think at some point the government is going to have to step in and regulate this. I really think this crosses a line."
PR divo Ken Sunshine — who reps DiCaprio, Justin Timberlake and Ben Affleck — called the new Gawker feature "unbelievable."
"I do wish they were funnier and spent less time inviting scary stalkers to go where celebrities might be — particularly celebrities with children," Sunshine complained.
For a response, we went straight to the source: Jesse Oxfeld, the boy-half of Gawker's editorial team:
gothdaddy: delaying the notifications by an hour or two would probably prevent someone from gunning down justin timberlake, right?
gawkdaddy: One would imagine. But keep in mind, it's not like we have traffic cams around the city. We're still limited by people getting back to their office, or getting up in the morning, or whatever, and remembering to email in the tip. So Timberlake should be safe. Sadly.
gothdaddy: what about the women and children? doesn't brittany deserve her privacy when pushing the federletus around soho?
gawkdaddy: You mean Britney Spears and the baby whose picture got her on the cover of People magazine back in November?
gothdaddy: i see you've played the "won't someone please think of the children" game before. touche.
gothdaddy: celebrities don't keep banking hours, and new yorkers won't accept a 9-to-5 monitoring service. have you made arrangements for the interns to work 24 hours a day, and if so, how?
gawkdaddy: Hiring and scheduling are well beyond my purview. But Denton has a remarkable ability to keep the slaves toiling, as we've all seen. I have faith.
Truer words were never spoken!