Will everyone please stop '@highlight'-ing?

The curiosity of humans knows no bounds. The inquisitive nature of Homo Media Socialis – Social Media (Hu)man – within this nosey species, is off the charts. So, it is no surprise that some bright sparks would take advantage of people on Facebook to make them think there’s a way by which users can track other users following their posts on the sly. The recent phenomenon of ‘@highlight’ seems to have popped up out of nowhere, disrupting the regular feed of Facebook users. The scam – conspiracy theory, really – is that by writing ‘@highlight’ as a comment to one’s own post, one will be able to find out the person’s FB stalker. This, of course, feeds – and feeds off – most people’s desire to know who has been snooping around their posts without leaving ‘likes’ or comments, the equivalent of someone coming to your birthday party without wishing you ‘Happy Birthday’.

As it turns out, the ‘@highlight’ is bakwaas. What isn’t, though, is one’s Facebook notification being inundated with the notice that ‘X has highlighted X’s comments for you to check out’. That’s like someone poking you to say how good her or his poem is – when the last thing you’re interested in is poetry, never mind X’s poetry. Facebook’s official disclaimer has it that it doesn’t let people track who views their profiles. But hang on. We’re curious. Could Facebook be lying?


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