More than 4,000 people received that text message at 9:56pm on November 14, 2011. All of them had signed up for Occupy Wall Street alerts by texting @occupyalert to 23559. Coordinated through Text Occupy, Occupy groups have created “cells” on the mass-text social network called Celly.
SMS, or Short Message Service, is being used around the world to mobilize, coordinate and alert in creative ways. It’s a natural tool for the Occupy movement.
Text messages have some security vulnerabilities. For protestors concerned about concealing their identity and location, there is another option.
Vibe Messaging is a smartphone app for anonymous broadcast messaging. It’s been used by OWS too, but like a lot of social media, that wasn’t its original intention. Zami.com describes Vibe as “a new mobile app for communicating with people around you without necessarily knowing them. They can be coworkers at work, schoolmates on campus, folks in the park, or residents in your building.” When they wrote “folks in the park,” they probably didn’t have your fellow campers in Zucotti Park in mind. But it does suggest using it to spark the spontaneous flash mob.
You choose a range and duration for your anonymous broadcast. There are five settings for distance and five settings for length of time before, poof, it disappears.