Saturday night, a tweet appeared then quickly vanished on teen heartthrob Justin Bieber's verified Twitter account: "everyone call me 248-XXX-XXXX :) or text". The number belonged to a teen in Detroit, and Justin apparently tweeted it out of revenge.
A little before midnight on Saturday, Justin tweeted this:
The tweet disappeared a few minutes later, . But not before thousands—if not hundreds of thousands—of Justin's followers retweeted it with expressions of multi-exclamated astonishment. Was that actually Justin's number!?
The number actually belongs to a Detroit teenager named Kevin Kristopik. At around 1am Sunday morning Kristopik tweeted "Thanks for giving out my # @justinbieber." (Kristopik has since deleted his twitter account.) Two hours, and over 10,000 text messages later, he posted this video to YouTube of his phone blowing up with calls and texts from Bieber's 4.5 million Twitter followers:
We called one of the numbers visible in the video, and the girl who answered confirmed she called Kristopik's number Saturday night after seeing Justin Bieber's tweet. "I thought it was some kind of prank number," she said. "I didn't think Justin Bieber would be stupid enough to post his own number."
It's unclear exactly what Kristopik did that caused Justin Bieber to sic the equivalent of Greater Boston's population on him. But it appears to be payback on some level for Kristopik hacking the Twitter account of a childhood friend of Justin's named Ryan Butler, and using it to get Justin's phone number. On July 27th, Kristopik tweeted "im the one who hacked ryan and got justins #." When asked today on Twitter, "You hacked ryan, and now jb wants payback so he tweeted your number?" Kristopik replied, "Kinda." (The hacking incident is well-known in the insular world of Justin Bieber micro-gossip.)
It's possible that Justin's own account was hacked. But he's made no mention of it and has been blithely tweeting stuff about Kanye West all morning. Kristopik, however, is fuming: "I never asked for it, @justinbieber is a dick," he tweeted. "i still like him, but this was so low."
We've tried to reach Kristopik multiple times this afternoon, but calling his number brings up only an automated message: "The mailbox belonging to 248-[redacted] is full and cannot accept new messages at this time."
[Picture of Kevin Kristopik from his (now defunct) Twitter account]