Even as more and more people complain about how unsocial social network services have become, some Japanese Twitter users have put their faith in humanity and opened up a new line of communication with their fellow Tweeters.
How? By publicly posting their phone numbers, some going as far as posting their bank account information and address.
In one of the biggest WTF moments on Twitter ever, some Twitter users have taken to posting their real, actual, no-lie phone numbers on Twitter. While many might view this as an invitation to mischief at best and outright identify theft at worst, the “phone number revealing festival,” as it’s been dubbed, is ostensibly an attempt at encouraging communication. Started by Twitter user Kazuma Ieiri, a serial entrepreneur, the idea is simply to allow anyone to contact their fellow netizens easily and directly.
While most people are still fretting about their online security, Kazuma Ieiri seems only interested in communicating with new people. In a post to his Facebook page, the widely-followed Twitter user explained that he was more interested in have compelling conversations with new people than worrying about risk. It seems that the entrepreneur has also posted his address and bank account number online as well, saying, “I look forward to having some great encounters.”
▼ Kazuma Ieiri’s Twitter page, with address, phone number and bank account information.
Obviously, this sort of bold move isn’t for everyone, and Kazuma Ieiri himself insists that if it makes you feel uncomfortable then you shouldn’t do it. Another point of concern is that once your number is “out in the wild,” as it were, you have pretty much no chance of getting it back. Even if you remove it from your Twitter account, it will likely still remain in a Google search cache—or in the address books of anyone who snagged it.
Still, there aren’t any horrible experiences to report yet. One Twitter user even tweeted a message thanking Kazuma Ieiri, ecstatic that she was able to connect with another user. While chatting on the phone, she learned that the other person lived in the same area and was overwhelmed by their conversation. The Twitter user even ended the message by asking Kazuma Ieiri to be the MC at her wedding if she got married.
The general reaction from Twitter users was, as you might expect, quite varied:
This is so cool! With people revealing their phone numbers, you can call and talk to lots of different people.
This kind of experience is definitely not something you can get under normal circumstances.
Someone called me! Amazing! It was much more entertaining than I expected!
I posted my phone number. It’s so exciting!
Ieiri’s phone-number-revealing festival is so amazing…in so many different ways.
I woke up to find my time line filled with people’s phone numbers.
There’s been so many phone numbers revealed that I don’t know who to call. So, someone, I don’t care who, call me!!
What the…this is popular now? Isn’t it scary??
This revealing phone numbers looks interesting and I want to try talking with lots of different people. I’m late, but I’m gonna try it out!
So, this is, indeed, happening. While it may not be the best idea in the world, there is something to be said for taking chances. If you feel inspired to join the festivities, we urge you to at least consider the full implications of your actions first. On the other hand, it’s probably not particularly difficult to find anyone’s phone number with a little digging.
Who knows, maybe this will usher in a new era of social networking! Or maybe it’ll be a brief fad that disappears in a few days—though obviously the phone numbers will still be floating around in the vast untamed wilderness of the Internet. At any rate, we think we’ll sit this one out…unless Mr. Sato is feeling brave.