Sunday, October 30, 2011

Klout Scores are the LEAST of Your Worries

Ah, Klout.  At first you were fun, then I pointed out how people are so much more than their scores, and then you just had to ruin things, didn't you?

It just gets better.

First, Klout upset many of their supporters by changing the algorithm that calculates their scores, and caused a bunch of people to lose a whole pile of points (mine dropped something like 10 points in a day).  There was tearing of clothes and gnashing of teeth, as people sobbed about their loss of status.

I noticed, but I didn't really care.  I'm not a numbers girl, really.  If you ask me what my traffic is I have a ball park number, but I'm more inclined to offer you a cookie.

Until yesterday, when I read an article on The Realtime Report about how Klout is assigning profiles to kids.  Yes, KIDS.  Kids who aren't even signed up for Klout.

Curious, I signed into klout and searched for Kevin-sure enough, they had assigned him a profile, had info on everyone he follows and talks to online, and they gave him a number.  Just to be sure Kevin hadn't created a profile I asked him if he had signed up for Klout.  I got a blank stare and then a confused, "what the heck is klout?"Then he tried to search for his profile, but couldn't find it.

Interesting?  You can only find out if your kid has a klout profile if you sign in (to do so you have to give it access to your Twitter or Facebook accounts), and search for it. 

When I tweeted Klout and asked point blank why they had done this, the response was that if I gave them the link to the account, they would delete it.  However, not everyone in my stream thought that I had a right to be concerned.  It was argued that nothing on the Internet was private, and if I didn't want companies like Klout having my kid's information I shouldn't allow my kid on the Internet.   According to the person, it wasn't Klout's fault because they are a scraper after all, it's mine for allowing my kid to be online at all.

He went on to say that I  was hateful for asking Klout, and then complained to his friends about how offended he was by my questioning Klout, and then decided to call me "Ms. Soccer Mom".  No offense to all the soccer moms out there, but the idea of my kid playing soccer is truly laughable.  He has a motor disability and playing soccer would be about as much fun as having teeth pulled.

When I wouldn't engage with the guy, who kept sending me tweets defending his precious Klout (I began to wonder if he worked for them because DUDE, get a LIFE.) he began talking about me to his stream.  (eyeroll)

Despite his creepy way of getting his point across, the guy had a point.  I do agree that nothing online is private.  Kevin and I have had these conversations many times before, and in fact HE is the one warning ME a lot of the time, since he is by far the more computer savvy of the two of us.  However, the weird thing here is NOT that Kevin had an account created by his own failings online, but it was created because of MINE.

You got it, people.  MINE.  How did that happen?

I gave Klout access to my Twitter stream.  Kevin is in my stream, and we tweet each other quite a bit.  Hence, they used my stream to find him and create a profile.

So here's the point.  *I* may have been okay with Klout accessing MY info because I am a public writer, etc and it does help me network.  My KID, on the other hand, was not.  He may be a teenager but it creeped him out to no end to find out that Klout had access to all his personal information.

Not just that but Mr. Asshat can go onto Klout and search up BOTH of us, finding out our names and where our networks are, even though we blocked him on Twitter.  How is that for killing that lovely block button that keeps us safer from the crazies?  Nope.  They can just sign into Klout and still monitor what you are doing.


I want to break up with Klout, but I'm waiting to see if they delete my kid's profile first as they promised.  Only when I have proof that it is gone will I completely break it off and ask them to delete my profile as well.  The irony?  Since Kevin asked Klout to delete his profile, his number went up by four points.

Now if that hasn't concerned you, go check out Sharon's post on Yummy Mummy about Klout and other apps that access your personal information.  It will scare the crap out of you for sure.

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