Have Any of Your Facebook Friends Been Arrested?

Want to find out if someone got arrested? There’s a Facebook app for that.

Arrestly, which debuted in beta earlier this week, allows Facebook users to choose five people to monitor, free-of-charge, and should any of those people get hauled to the hoosegow, users are alerted via email and text message.

Of course, way less than one percent of Facebook’s population gets arrested, and that comes right from Arrestly’s Chief Executive Officer Matt Steckler. Last year, 15 million people were arrested in the U.S.

We’d asked him why he sees a market for such an application given the tiny proportion of social networkers actually get cuffed. He replied:

Imagine having a babysitter that you trust, then makes a terrible mistake (gets a DUI), but doesn’t tell you. Or your parents are in a convalescent home, you want to make sure the people taking care of them are not arrested for assault, fraud, etc. We want you people to be able to be informed about the people around them. With Arrestly, you can also monitor people outside your friends list by adding people manually.

On of our main goals is to provide continuous criminal background checks for people that participate in peer-to-peer marketplaces, such as AirBnB, TaskRabbit, and other services where people are service providers. Down the road, we will have a service that aggregates data from these services, to become a trust and verification provider.

We think he needs to add that to the promotional writing on the Arrestly website. It now reads:

Arrestly is an informational service that works by scouring the Web for real-time arrest and booking information from nearly every county jail facility in the U.S. Arrestly will inform you immediately when someone you are watching is arrested and booked into jail.

Readers, would you want to sign up for something like Arrestly?

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