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Panelists: social apps can lead to rape, Catholic Church worse than Facebook founder Hermione Way.

The debate as to whether location-based apps are creepy took a new turn Monday, when founder Hermione Way asserted that women have been raped as a result of location-based apps “like Facebook(s fb) and Banjo,” and Banjo CEO Damien Patton responded that “more people have been harmed by the Catholic Church” than the popular social networks.

“Those were just baseless accusation against location apps in general,” Patton said.

Banjo CEO Damien Patton.

The two clashed Monday on a panel discussing privacy at Monday’s Social Loco conference, where Way opened by saying she has chosen to live her life online and give up assumptions of digital privacy, but that not everyone is completely aware of the consequences of such a lifestyle. The panel prompted strong responses from audience members on Twitter throughout the event.

Way accused apps like Banjo and Facebook of being responsible for assaults on women, referencing the recent news of sexual assaults in connection with a social app called Skout. She said she’s worried about the impact of a constantly-sharing society as young children grow up with websites like Facebook without understanding the implications of their sharing.

Afterwards, Way said she “might have exaggerated a little,” about the safety risks posed by social networks, but that she feels strongly that users should share their data carefully and consider their own privacy before sharing online.

Patton sharply denied Way’s comments, saying that Banjo works hard to protect user privacy. He noted that Way could not specifically cite the instance when social apps caused individuals harm, and said the positive aspects of social apps like Facebook are generally a positive development for people, even if there are unfortunate instances of abuse by some users:

“Any good in the world has opposing force,” he said. “She was trying to make it sound like it’s out of control.”

5 Responses to “Panelists: social apps can lead to rape, Catholic Church worse than Facebook”

  1. Jennifer Cavanagh

    Responsible for assaults?!? What year is Way living in? Next thing you know she’ll be blaming a women’s choice in attire. Might as well blame the handbag for the mugging. I can only hope The article misquotes and if not shame on Way for such a vapid point. There is much to debate and educate re social media but no it is not “responsible” for rapes – the perp can shoulder at blame without excuses pls.

  2. As far back as 3 years ago I was asked by a Task Force in South Texas on feedback from crimes against women via Twitter messages. The enforcement officer said to me”Kaye we just got to tackling crime patterns via phone records,internet paths and transportation documents worldwide, now this, how do we get ready for this so call social media communication”
    I said carefully, in the end everyone will paint a clear picture of their crime, you can find them with less hassle and convict. Yes, Ms.Way is on the right track to bring this subject up and enforcement has more records on social media signatures related to crime than you can discuss in one day.
    As for the Catholic Church…their the biggest criminals to sexual abuse of children, about 3 billion dollars worth of settlements, please spare us the sanctuary of don’t pick on the holy. Denial always works when your wrong.

  3. Ex FromTheLeft

    well hermione Way comments was also stupid, i would expect more from someone who is putting herself out there as this big time industry leader hosting all the summits or is this just personnal branding based on emptyness?

  4. OedipusTex

    It’s a shame he had to slur the Catholic Church as part of his rebuttal. We should expect a higher level of discourse from industry leaders.