People of Walmart: Invasive and Mean or Harmless Entertainment? (VIDEO)

Lindsay Ferrier
Beauty & Style

People of WalmartI'll admit, I think that People of Walmart is one of the funniest websites on the Internet.

If you're not familiar with it, people from across the country submit photos of outrageously dressed shoppers spotted in Walmart -- and you won't believe the things that these people have been caught wearing!

But a woman in Michigan isn't laughing. Her mother's photo was posted on People of Walmart and she was so upset, she went on television to talk about it.

The story brings up a few interesting questions: Are sites like People of Walmart hurtful or harmless entertainment? And what kind of expectation of privacy do we really have when we're out shopping?

Here's the news story from a Michigan television station:

Melanie Wheeler was outraged to find her mother's photo on the site, and I can understand why she was upset. But her comment at the end of the story really stuck out:

"You're in a Walmart," she said. "We have no privacy shopping? So I could go into a store and take a picture of anybody or their children and put it up on ... a webpage!"

Well ... yeah.

I don't know about you, but I get dressed each day knowing that the moment I walk out of my door, I could be seen by anyone. Sure it's unlikely that my photo will be taken and posted all over the Internet. It's also unlikely that I'll run into a Hollywood agent who wants to cast me in Steven Spielberg's next movie, but it could totally happen. And I want to be ready.

Okay, that's a little extreme, but seriously. With the advent of smartphones, I am fully aware that people could take my photo at any time when I'm out in public and I have no control over what happens to that photo. It's not what I'd prefer, but there it is. I dress accordingly.

In defense of People of Walmart, Racked reports that the photo appears to have been taken down. That was the right thing to do, I think.

But what do you think of this story? What's your expectation of privacy when you leave your home? And do you laugh at sites like People of Walmart -- or feel bad for the people "caught" in the photos?


Image via People of Walmart

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