Why you should probably not use Foursquare

Published on July 13th, 2010

That'll learn her

If you haven’t heard of it before, Foursquare is a new social-network thingy that has taken the Internet by storm. Put simply, you go to a place, and you ‘check-in’. Once you check-in, a Twitter-esque post appears on your profile with your geographic location, and the details of the venue.

What’s the incentive? Good point, I don’t know either. I used the service for a while, and justified it to myself thusly; “If my other friends use it, they’ll know where I am, and come and hang out”. I soon figured out, however, that the only friend of mine that did use it, lived about 40 miles away, and was unlikely to come a join me on a whim. Needless to say, I have stopped using it.

All is not lost, however, as my favourite phone-phreakers over at The Phone Losers of America (PLA) have found a much better use for the service:

By going to search.twitter.com, you can type in 4sq.com and you’ll get a list of everyone on the planet that is currently checking in to someplace. You can even modify your search to include only local businesses. This is great for creepy stalkers who want to keep tabs on random pretty girls. A creepy stalker could jump in his car and speed to the pub for a chance to meet the girl of his dreams. Everywhere she goes.

Another use for Foursquare is for burglars to know when houses are empty. If @sexygirl535 is out having fun with her friends at a bar, then she’s not home, right? So quick, drive over there and break into her house! You know she doesn’t have roommates because she constantly tweets about how it sucks to live alone. A website called Please Rob Me has been set up for just this purpose.

And then there’s the PLA’s favorite pasttime – making prank calls to people. Foursquare is the perfect tool for this. In that search box up there, you click on the Twitter username which probably gives you the name of the person checking in. Then you click on the link in their post and you’ll have the phone number of the business they’re at. Now you can call the business, ask for that person and say something crazy to them. They’re almost always surprised that anyone could know that they’re there. It rarely occurs to them that just minutes ago they transmitted their location to the entire world.

The PLA are behind some of the most ingenious phone pranks in history, and their Foursquare staking effort is as good as ever – check it out here

The PLA have been around for a very long time, and their antics have attracted the attention of the mass media:

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The PLA make an amazing podcast called PLA Radio, as well as their weekly ‘Phone Show‘, subscribe now!

Ken Eakins

About Ken Eakins

Ken Eakins is a Freelance Journalist, Academic, and Videographer from the UK. Ken started SittingNow in 2007 as a repository for all the esoteric and underground stuff that he enjoys researching. The map is not the territory!

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