Toothing Still Sounds Like A Hoax

from the try-again-in-a-year dept

The practice of “toothing” — basically finding sex partners over Bluetooth — got a lot of press a couple of years ago, before being exposed as a hoax a year later. We noted when the stories first came out that it sounded like it could be a self-fulfilling hoax: one that was made up to begin with, but which the inevitable media attention would make real. Here we are two years later and Reuters — which got suckered by the original story — says toothing has taken off, at least in Italy and Dubai. Well, sort of — it talks about how people are sending messages to one another, but doesn’t make any mention of whether they’re doing it strictly to find sex. Quite the opposite, in fact: the Italians seem to like to chat, while the news from Dubai comes from a seven-month-old BBC article on how young people in the UAE use phones to find dates. The whole supposed point of toothing was to use Bluetooth to find strangers for immediate, anonymous sex — so it looks once again like Reuters’ claims about toothing are, well, toothless.

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Comments on “Toothing Still Sounds Like A Hoax”

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Paul says:

Reasons it seems unplausable

This has to be a hoax just based on the was bluetooth works.

In order for phone A to send phone B data over bluetooth, the two have to “pair up”, that is, negotiate a connection.

Phone A has to be broadcasting its bluetooth ID so that Phone B can “see” Phone A in a list of nearby connections (Similar to SSID in wireless networks)

It is possible for a device to be constantly broadcasting this ID (which would be necsisary for this kind of contact to happen) but HIGHLY unlikely due to the ammount of battery drainage that would occur.

My own phone only broadcasts the ID for 15 seconds at a time, so if I wanted to make myself contactable I would have to sit there pushing the button over and over and over again, and then my phone would prolly die after a half hour.

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