Anonymous Twitter alternative Vibe gets popular with Occupy Wall Street protesters

first_imgWhen I first moved to the big city of New York, I didn’t have a ton of friends. I’d occasionally go to concerts alone and check via Twitter who else was at the same concert. I’d then write to them on Twitter and see if we could find each other in the crowd of people. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but it worked. Although I was in a public setting, it’s always a bit risky meeting up with a total stranger. Plus, since the person had my Twitter handle, they knew my name and whatever other information I had tweeted about myself.However, an app called Vibe is changing the way people can connect anonymously. In fact, it’s actually being used by many of the hundreds of protesters who have been marching around New York City for the Occupy Wall Street demonstration. As we saw with the London riots, looters were being discovered by authorities via their BlackBerry smartphones. Many of the protesters were using the phone’s messaging service, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), and police were able to track down many of these people by their messages.Vibe is similar to Twitter in the way that it lets you send messages out to the public via your mobile device. However, unlike Twitter it’s actually anonymous and impermanent. On Vibe’s description in the App Store, it’s advertised as a good way to chat anonymously with people nearby. You can send text, videos, and photos to nearby users at concerts, parties, football games, conferences, or in this case, massive protests.The user simply posts what’s on their mind and selects how far they want the message to be visible and for how long. Vibes can be shared with people within 160 feet of you or even miles away from you for as little as 15 minutes or up to 30 days. You decide when you want the message to self destruct. If you decide you do want to make your message public to your Twitter followers, you can also tweet your vibe to your followers.The Observer’s tech site said Vibe is the app of choice for the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Communicating via Twitter more or less creates a real-time record that police and authorities can monitor. Since Vibe can limit its messages to people within a certain radius, the messages aren’t going out to the feds in Washington. Still, authorities in the vicinity of the protests could hypothetically have access to the vibes.Though Vibe is playing nice by Apple’s App Store rules with its “clean and wholesome” description, outside of the App Store, the company is definitely advertising it as a great way for Occupy Wall Street protestors to communicate. Vibe’s Facebook page has a post that says: “Anyone from Occupy Wall Street need an anonymous organizing tool? Check out Vibe, available for free…”. The page is also posting photos of Occupy Wall Street vibes, and the app’s creator, Hazem Sayed, actually flew out to New York from California to hand out flyers for Vibe and to explain to protesters how they can use it.Now you can vibe that you just got pepper-sprayed by the cops and not have your mom see it and demand you move back home immediately. It’s a good way to get a message across without being tracked down by authorities. For example, if the cops are rounding up people to arrest, you can vibe the location where the arrests are happening and warn other protesters.Clearly, the app is perfect for things like protests, demonstrations, and flash mobs. Whether or not that was Sayed’s intention when creating the app, Vibe is now being used for bigger things than football games and lectures.via BetaBeatslast_img

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