Why Twitter Users Are Saying, ‘Hey Snowden, I <3 Catfacts'


With social media’s prevalence in our lives, many users are forgetting the importance of keeping some details private. For example, many have accidentally posted private details of their life, such as a drivers license or email address. This information can be used against you, as many Twitter users are finding out the hard way.

https://twitter.com/artaimh/status/666964060936736768?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

One concerned anonymous person is using phone numbers posted publicly on Twitter and sending them cat facts. Of course, not to educate them on feline knowledge, but rather a lesson on internet safety. Users are sent text message after text message. The only way to stop them is to tweet “Meow, I <3 catfacts" at Edward Snowden. https://twitter.com/bisoneaux/status/664767650552225796?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Due to anti-spamming laws, the coder behind this project has decided to remain anonymous. However, he spoke to The Verge about what inspired this idea.

“The main cause is to spread awareness of operational security. When people tweet pictures of their drivers licenses or debit cards, they usually understand their mistake upon someone retweeting it. When they tweet their phone number, they think nothing of it. If the messages sent to them were malicious, [they] could be exploited with ease.”

He also explained that sharing your phone number is opening up your entire life to being hacked through your smartphone.

The coding behind this project calls for two scripts to find the phone numbers and to send automated texts to them. The first script uses “key words and a little regular expressions filtering to locate phone numbers” while a second script sends text messages via a free messaging website. The anonymous coder points out Twitter’s security lapse that allows this automated process to work.

While we understand the coder’s point he is trying to make, we can only wonder why pull Edward Snowden into it? His answer, “why not?”

“When he joined Twitter, [Snowden] expressed his appreciation for cats,” the project’s creator. He stands for everything privacy, while so many people still broadcast their personally identifiable information freely. I thought thought some people would understand the pun on their poor operational security by having to tweet Snowden but turns out most of them have no idea who Snowden is.”

Isn’t that ironic?


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