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The Dirty Phonebook

Websites like The Dirty Phonebook are bringing about the death of privacy

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Privacy is dead. You might have entered your email into countless sites, strangers can probably browse your drunken Facebook photos from last night, and you've got multiple sites dedicated to information all about you... but that's all insignificant now.

The Dirty Phonebook is a new US based website that allows anonymous users to post up any phone number, say who it is, and what they think of them. While that's already pretty terrifying in itself, given the amount of angry people you can find in the recesses of the internet - but it gets worse. The site then offers free calls to any of the numbers posted, and invites other users to ring them and review them with comments.

Despite advertising itself as "100 per cent hilarious fun," what ensues is usually a violent outburst of expletives, racial slurs, and overtly sexualised comments, all to be found in just a few clicks. Thankfully, this degenerative site is limited to the States only, but with the company expanding and recruiting and the traffic to the site growing it could soon be going international.

The site now has nearly one million phone numbers, each with its own discussion. When you ring, real people answer, and are often subjected to a torrent of abuse for alleged wrongs that have been posted to the site. However, the website claims it can be used for good as well, offering "the inside scoop on a blind date," and a way to check out online sellers to "avoid being a victim of schemes."

The internet is a wonderful thing, but with sites like The Dirty Phonebook rising in popularity, it can also be quite concerning. People deserve their privacy, and with wild accusations happily accepted as fact, privacy is stripped maliciously away. While someone did point out to me that this article would also be contributing to that traffic, it's perhaps worthwhile writing about as a warning that this should not be the future of the internet. If I ever get a call, I'll happily just give up on technology and go back to living in the Dark Ages.


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2 Comments

unsuspectingcoed Posted on Friday 27 Jul 2012

I searched my name and found this website. Someone posted my phone number, a link to my facebook profile, and my full name. I don't feel comfortable giving out this information and never have--except through personal messages. I have spent a year trying to contact them, threaten legal action, and cited their own privacy terms & agreements, but they have not answered once. I even tried signing up and then blocking my number! I am very frustrated and just want my information taken down... If anyone can help, I'd really appreciate it!

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annoyed Posted on Friday 13 Sep 2013

I second the comment above! How do I block my number??

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