New social network uses numbers, not names, for user IDs
Lovers of anonymity, rejoice!
There is now a new site that caters to those of you who love the community aspect of social networks but hate having to divulge much personal information.
Social Number, a new social media startup launched last week, offers its users complete anonymity, letting them to sign up for the service without even giving a name. Instead, subscribers are asked to choose a number—hence the name—that's at least six digits long to serve as their identifying tag on the site. The only identifying bit of information the social network asks for is a valid email, though that likely has more to do with the account verification process.
"Like most people, we were tired of having no privacy with the existing social network," the site's "About Us" section reads. "We wanted to express ourselves freely without sharing personal details."
Just how serious is Social Number about protecting people's identity? Serious enough that the company's own CEO and founder refuses to disclose his or her own name, choosing instead to go by the initials M.K.
According to M.K., who spoke with GigaOm, Social Number counts members of the loose collective Anonymous as subscribers.
"We are incredibly thrilled to be tackling and empowering our users to have a free voice, discussing issues that some might deem 'untouchable' in public forums," M.K. stated in a press release.
"It's about freedom of speech. Today, there is very little privacy on any social network, resulting in employees being fired and government interrogations for free thinking. On Social Number, your number is your only identity, showcasing the true value of anonymity."
People losing their jobs because of statements they made via Twitter or Facebook are so common that doing a cursory search on the Daily Dot for the term "Facebook fired" will yield multiple stories. Unless you're in an union or a public employee, your social media comments can be used against you.
Especially when you consider the fact that Facebook has strongly pushed to have as much information on its users as possible—going so far as to actively hunt down users who use fake names—for the sake of Graph Search, Social Number's launch seems especially timely.
Photo via Andres Rueda/Flickr