A Bird, A Gold Fish, A Few Folks Is All It Takes.

 Is Twitter a Super Company?

Anacortes Washington | Elaine Ossipov | July 31, 2012 | 23:07 UTC-7

Twitter is one of the few companies that I blog about.  I blogged about them originally here. For Standing up to the NY Judge who order the company to turn over stored communications of a OWS protester, Twitter earned my respect.  Citing the need for a search warrant per the SCA(Stored Communications ACT) Twitter countered the Judges order with our Constitutions Fourth Amendment Rights arguing the protester did own his content. Score 1 for Twitter,  the ACLU and of course our very own Electronic Frontier Foundation, who fights for our internet freedoms daily, and provides us with interpretations of the court documents.

Lately many of twitters users  got the boot, kicked, suspended, terminated, accounts gone with no warning.

Twitter has cracked down on anyone who follows more than 200 people in a day.  Anyone who follows and then un-follows an undetermined amount of users in a day, and pretty much indiscriminately closing accounts citing spam. I say that because I can, I had one of my accounts suspended, a tourism account which followed less than 200 people and to this day  has less than 100 followers and only tweeted one blog  which is not mine.  I have the written permission from the owner of the blog to tweet the posts which have  little commentary and  mostly pretty pictures of the Pacific Northwest, and Anacortes Wa., my hometown.  No one could ever define this as spam in any way shape or form. I also keep records of each tweet every account makes.

I am most certainly not the first person this has happened to. Today when I synced my large account of over seven-thousand followers there were fifty-four suspended accounts, and in the last week I can say without a doubt that over 250 of my followers have had their accounts suspended. These read as “Data not available at this time”  <– well, suspended or deleted by the user and in over a year on twitter I have never even come close to having one-tenth the numbers deleted as I have in the last two months. This crackdown  became more prevalent the closer we came to the Olympic Games.

I’m not complaining, in fact just the opposite I agree twitter has every right to cancel any account at anytime and I would fight for their right do so.  Until as consumers we start paying their internet bills they have the right to cancel anything,  at any time.  And seriously, as the public, we are not privileged to the information they have. These accounts  maybe bots, or abandoned accounts, or any other number of a whole host of reasons why they are suspended.

Hundreds of thousands of  people use Twitter to market everything from handmade items to cruises and cars yet twitter does not receive even a dime for this. People compile lists of users and sell them. Twitter doesn’t receive a dime for this. In fact I could fill a notebook sized piece of paper on both sides of items which people do on twitter to earn money and reap a profit yet never even give a dollar to Twitter’s support personnel’s coffee fund.  Which probably explains why it takes a while to get a reply from them.  So far, I’ve missed two in the past year, simply due to the reply coming after I’d given up looking for it.  But again twitter doesn’t Owe Us, the users, anything.   It’s a free service put on the internet and they are nice enough to let us use it.  No fee to use it, no fee per tweet, no fee to support our 20 lists of users of up to 500 users each, which means they are storing up to ten-thousand user names/profiles for each of their 10 billion users free, plus our followers and friends.   Lately the support has even improved, both tweets and email response  even the response time has improved by leaps and bounds, so someone is donating to the coffee.

Having gone through the no-response-till-I-quit-looking-for-it, and the account-suspension and  reinstatement process, the initial no-reply-to-my-help-tweets, several friends having lost their accounts and getting them back re-instated with no communications what-so-ever, having gone through  all the above with Twitter in the last year I still would defend Twitters rights to do exactly as they had done.  That is until Yesterday when they banned  Guy Adams for starting a soon trending twitter tag¹ #NBCFail.  It was now, I changed my stance and deflated by pin pricks my super-hero Twitter bird and placed him gently in a shoe box to bury in the back yard next to the not-so-fortunate goldfish appropriately named Dinner.  Disillusioned at the realization I had unknowingly and emotionally attached to Twitter the persona of  an ethical company.    “This Bird has balls! “, and Peoples Voice be heard” among other such phrases which bolstered Twitter’s persona into my Super Bird ideals.  

Now I had a quandary on my hands. You see, in my humble opinion ethical companies in America are about common as the critically endangered Polar Bears are in the great plains states.  Yes, they do exist.  Rare.  But they do exists.  This is a very short list of companies.  So when I  find a company I believe is ethical I shout it from the highest mountain top or rather I  tweet it.  I write about it and I tell everyone who will listen to me to they should do business with and support this company because they are upholding ethics I believe in. Nothing religious, nothing on the scale of  Mahatma Gandhi, or Mother Teresa.  Just a simple live and let live mantra that as I get older presents  less and less simplicity.  But I truly believed Twitter was trying to do the right thing by all the parties involved until now that is. Now,  I was ready to turn tail and fight them beak and feathers down to the last tweep for ever banning a Journalist for anything, even poor taste or no class.

Twitter is my hero once again - goldfish Mind you, I agree twitter has every right to cancel any account at anytime and I would fight for their right do so.  That is until Yesterday when they banned  Guy Adams for starting a soon trending twitter tag¹ #NBCFail.  No one bans a Journalist, not even for poor taste or  no class.  I changed my stance deflating by pin pricks my Super-Hero Twitter Bird and placing him gently in a shoe box to bury in the back yard next to the not-so-fortunate goldfish appropriately named Dinner. ..” [and now I was ready to turn tail and fight them beak and feathers down to the last tweep for ever banning a Journalist for anything..]”

See, I believe the corruption at the top-level of our banking systems, the corruption of our political leaders followed by the corruption of our news-services sets us right on the precipice teetering back and forth between the America we were proud of and an abysmal black abyss.  America as well as other countries are loosing their best field journalists and reporters as the more mature retire, the more experienced expire. 926 Killed since 1992 and another twenty-something missing according to the Committee  to Protect Journalist.  That’s more most of the graduating classes at the schools in the county I live in.  Unfortunately this leaves the very young and  fresh-out-of-school to take their place.  Did you have Global Awareness,  perspective and an unwavering sense of duty and ethical values when you were 20 or 21?  Thank our ever-criticized educational system for creating what appears as a more mature globally aware graduating generation.  We should also take a moment to thank our extremely underpaid unappreciated could-be-making-more-money writing tawdry romance novels professors.  These are the ones who do have an absolute sense of both duty and ethical values which they are teaching to our younger generations.

Then tonight as I was getting ready to nurse a headache the size of a football field I received a quick message from a colleague who said “Hey did you see this article.” and a link to the headlines from the Guardian:

Twitter ‘sorry’ for suspending Guy Adams as NBC withdraws complaint.

Right before I sat down to write this short story of my thoughts I was lucky enough to find one of those rubber patch kits in my junk-drawer.  I think he is dry enough now to re-inflate.  So I can take my super-tweeter out of his make-shift coffin with love and admiration restored in my eyes as I stare at him once again in  his  place of  honour on my desk.  And me?  It’s enough.   The actions of one small blue bird and a few great people who can admit when they are human,  #RestoresMyFaithInMankind  for at least one more day.

☜♥(ツ) ˜”*°•.☆*  ˜”*°•.☆* ˜”*°•.☆* ˜”*°•.☆*Follow4Follow & #Always  Twitter!

Before saying See Ya Later  I would like to ask you to Visit the Committee to Protect Journalists.   Watch a few video’s when you get a chance.  Look at the job openings they have available.  Look at the different needs they have for both financial and physical help.  If you happened to  either give to them or become a member,  please let me know.  I would like to add your name and website to this blog post.



¹ trending twitter tag-  just try saying that five times fast.