Creepy Facebook stalkers around the world are rejoicing over the addition of an “ask” button next to blank relationship statuses. Any friends that leave their relationship status blank will now have a button that will allow people to inquire about the status. Users who click the “ask” button will be able to type a message that will explain why they are requesting the information, as if we don't already know why.
This way, creepers won't have to ask directly, filling up attractive people's messenger with their random attempts to find a hookup. Actually, now that a system is in place, it might just encourage them further.
There is one bright spot that could discourage such behavior, users who have been asked will be able to choose whether to answer privately, or post their response to inquiries publicly. Stalkers will have to be careful, as this could allow harassed Facebook users a better media for publicly humiliating them.
Any of this could be done easily through Facebook already. People could search for hookups and just send private messages beforehand, or even post them publicly if they had no shame, and the harassed could always publicly humiliate them. The button seems a bit pointless, except for perhaps as an encouragement to people, and maybe as a streamlined way of finding out information for the mobile age.
While a lot of people are worried about Facebook becoming more invasive, and more accessible to creepers, the only people that can inquire would be friends. So a person will only have to worry about keeping out the creepers from their friends list. Considering some folks have over a thousand friends, that might not be so easy.
Also, Facebook isn't actually trying to become a dating site, though it might already seem like one. The popular social media site has been introducing these “ask” buttons for several pieces of information since January. Users are now able to request information about a friend's phone number, workplace, and alma mater. When they added “ask” buttons to all the other profile sections, they couldn't possibly forget the information everyone is most interested in.
Edited by Maurice Nagle