|Release||Never released to the general public, closed beta start: |
Stolen! was a mobile game released as a closed beta in November 2015 for iOS, in January 2016 the game quickly gained popularity on Twitter and the internet in general. The goal of the game was to buy Twitter accounts and collect money from those accounts. If another person owned a Twitter account, the player could "steal" it from the person. The only way to play the game was to have an access code, either from another player or from the developers themselves. The game's servers were taken offline on January 14, 2016, and the game was removed from the App Store, due to concerns about the game's potential to be used for harassment. An Android version was being tested prior to the cancellation of the app.
On February 19th, 2016, the developers revived the game as Famous.
Shortly after the large rise in popularity during January 2016, several news outlets, including The Mary Sue and Gadgette published articles raising concern over the ability to use the mechanics of Stolen!, like the ability to edit the profiles of people you have 'Stolen' to harass other people, as well as having to opt out instead of opt into having their profiles in the app. Congresswoman Katherine Clark sent a letter to both Apple and Twitter, urging them to strip the app developers from access to the App Store and Twitter API respectively. The developers have not stated whether Clark's actions were the reason they voluntarily took down the app.
- "Things are heating up. Tweet at us if you want in to our closed beta! -5 November 2015". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
- "Stolen!". Google Trends. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
- "🌝🌝🌝boom ur new #StolenCode good 4 one thousand ppl IS: "LUVYOU" k🔥go🔥go🔥go". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-01-19.
- Olanoff, Drew (14 January 2016). "Buzzy Social App Stolen Shuts Down Amidst "Concerns" From Users". TechCrunch. AOL. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- "The app is no longer available in the App Store. We've heard everyone's concerns and have decided the best thing to do is to shut down". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-01-16.
- Klinkenberg, Brendan; Misener, Jessica. "Hot New Game "Stolen" Is Already Dead". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 16 January 2016.
- "Also Android users, @ us if you want to try out Android beta!". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-01-22.
- "Controversial game Stolen is reborn, with a twist, as Famous". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2016-02-19.
- Myers, Maddy. "This Disturbing App Lets You Buy and Sell Virtual Versions of Twitter Users' Accounts". www.themarysue.com. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- Brockwell, Holly (2016-01-13). "Interview: Stolen, the problematic app that lets you buy and sell people on Twitter". Gadgette. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
- Clark, Katherine. ""My letter 2 Twitter & Apple abt my concerns w/ "Stolen!" - an app that enables online abusers 2 "own" ppl's profiles"". Twitter. Retrieved 2016-01-18.
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