The latest account closure by Twitter will not be ignored.
Let me begin by pointing out something some people may not know. According to Wired in 2009:
“Late this year, Twitter announced deals with Google and Microsoft access to people’s tweets and the right to post them in search results so that they can datamine those tweets and put ads around them.”
So that is what Twitter is about.
I have documented several times my attempts to use Twitter as a social networking tool. Any attempt I make, has been repeatedly met with the same consequence- account suspensions and closings.
Let me begin by saying that Twitter, in a social networking sense, is nothing more than a giant mosh pit of information. People enter topics in which they no know one and shout out whatever they want in 140 characters. Sometimes, people work together to keep a topic trending and simply post anything that keeps the topic trending.
People use Twitter for a variety of things including soliciting support for nonprofits and self-promotional activities (such as celebrities who tweet about their latest project.)
For the most part, my use of Twitter has been to promote the efforts to save Dollhouse through the twitition and about my love for Eliza Dushku. I have tweeted about a lot of other subjects, including video games, movies, nonprofits, politics- but my most common tweet has been about Dollhouse and my love for Eliza Dushku. I follow only Eliza Dushku. In many respects, my tweets are not much different than a fan of Justin Bieber tweeting about his music or saying they love him.
Let’s take a close look at my brief history with Twitter:
Most recently Twitter had closed most of my accounts.
These accounts and my followers on these accounts were never recovered.
I recently opened a new account with no followers. When I retweeted Ben Cousin’s tweet the other day, it did not have much of an audience because I had lost all the followers on my other accounts. I do, however, have no problem in tweeting to people who have tweeted about something, like Battlefield Heroes, links to my blog post about Battlefield Heroes.
If you tweet, you expect people to respond to your tweets. There’s not a lot of privacy to tweeting. You make public statements and you can expect people to respond to them. If you don’t like a tweet, you can ignore it. Some people have locked their twitter accounts so you cannot tweet them. Those are personal choices. My point is: when Twitter arbitrarily suspends my account, it makes a decision for you. It decides what information you will receive or send. Increasingly, it is making those decisions based on pay for text promotional tweeting.
I have already commented extensively on the fact that people can have multiple Twitter accounts. I have noted that Twitter allows you the technical ability to tweet a lot.
“Nothing I did was not made possible by Twitter in their intentional design. If Twitter wanted to limit the of tweets I make or the number of replies I have, they can code it into Twitter.“
“I’m not sure why they give us so many tweets and then get upset when we actually use them. “
It affects a lot more than me. When my accounts get closed, I can no longer use third party applications or even retweet messages about Twitchange or other social justice causes.
I have been suspended for tweeting about community events, such as MLK Day events, as well as donations to Haiti.
I’m tired of using a so-called social networking service that repeatedly suspends my accounts. It forces me to start all over and try to rebuild my followers. No matter what I do, at some point, Twitter seems to simply decide it does not like it and my account is suspended or closed.
I’m moving on to another social networking service. My experiences with Twitter indicate it cannot be relied upon to effectively organize. Any third party developer is risking their livelihood on the hope that Twitter does not suspend its users accounts.
The truth is there are other social networking sites. They may not be as effective in the short term, but if they aren’t wiping out my followers every so often, at least I stand a chance of building a base of support or getting a message out. Just look at my Twitition and you can see how the momentum just died with the account closures. To whoever made the Twitition application, good luck to you! I really liked the application, but it’s just not compatible with Twitter’s policies. My suggestion: develop for something other than Twitter. My experience suggests it is very hard to tweet about your twitition when your account gets closed- take it from me.
Charities which are hoping that people will get the message out might be disappointed with the results. People who put too much stock in the number of followers they have, might be surprised to find out how many of their followers are simply one person who has been forced to open multiple accounts.
Twitter is willing to sell my tweets to Google and Microsoft but at the same time, it wants to suspend me for tweeting?
Meanwhile, over on Facebook, I keep getting people posting about the Rally to Restore Sanity in the comments fields. Some of these people are posting about an event Comedy Central is hosting. (Spam? Not by my account. They are just talking about something that interests them. I’m free to ignore their posts.) At least, however, Facebook is not closing their accounts.
The only reason I continued to try to use Twitter was to follow Eliza Dushku. I did not try to follow anyone else. At this point, I’m done with Twitter.