HOLLYWOOD (CBSLA.com) — A prank video that has since gone viral has some people wondering if too much information on social media is literally too much information.
Comedian Jack Vale searched hashtags to locate people who were taking photos nearby.
KCAL9’s Melanie Woodrow reports Vale went up to people and gave them a big surprise.
“I do pranks for a living, it’s how I feed the kids and support the family,” Vale said.
But his latest prank — he calls it a social media experiment — didn’t have a lot of people laughing.
“Thanks for invading our privacy,” said one man.
Searching social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, Vale found people posting pics nearby, then surprised them with what else he knew.
“Is your name Jessica?” he says to one unsuspecting woman. “Hi, I’m Jack.”
He then proceeds to tell her, “I was just gonna say happy birthday.”
Woodrow reports that the experiment went from prank to exposing the real security dangers inherent in using social media.
Even if you make your settings private, people can still find out much of your personal information; they can get info from your posts and friend’s profiles.
For two hours, Vale and his wife showed Woodrow how it’s done on Hollywood Boulevard.
“I might have found out a couple of things about you,” Vale tells Woodrow.
After her phone rings, Woodrow answers it.
“You guys, it’s my hairdresser,” she says. Only it’s the right name but the wrong number and voice.
“That’s messed up,” says Woodrow.
And how did Vale do it?
“My Instagram is public,” said Woodrow, “And Jack saw that Nico is someone who comments on a lot of my photos. And he [Jack] already had my cell phone number because we had been chatting.”