New site uses Twitter to track down celebs

JustSpotted will track down stars by filtering for Twitter posts about star sightings. Critics are bound to ask whether this is the right application of the Web.

Screen capture of JustSpotted.com, a venture that will use Twitter to pinpoint celeb locations. Screen shot Greg Sandoval/CNET

File this under Web sites that are sure to anger George Clooney.

Much like Gawker Stalker, the upcoming JustSpotted.com wants to offer users information on the real-time whereabouts of 7,000 celebrities. The difference is JustSpotted, which is scheduled to launch Tuesday, will harness the power of Twitter to help hunt down stars, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.

JustSpotted executives have struck some kind of partnership with Twitter that enables them to get access to Twitter posts from people who spot stars in public, the trade magazine reported.

"Proprietary technology uses 'natural-language' filters to figure out which tweets pertain to celebrity sightings," The Hollywood Reporter said in its report.

This is obviously a twist on Gawker Media's Gawker Stalker, which takes a less techie approach to reporting on star sightings by relying mostly on e-mail tips from readers.

The Web is a powerful communication tool and the service will undoubtedly attract controversy--if it is at all effective at tracking down stars. Critics of Gawker Stalker said years ago that the reporting to the world the exact, real-time location of celebrities could make it easier for unbalanced fans to find them and do them harm.

In 2006, Clooney tried to foil Gawker Stalker by recruiting celebrity publicists to report numerous phony sightings in an effort to damage the site's credibility. It did little good. Four years later, the service is still around.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments