31 Jul 2012

Upon closer scrutiny, twitter is not warm and cuddly

When people call the London Olympics the Twitter Olympics, it may be in more ways than one.  It may be a reference to Olympians tweeting racist messages and being asked to leave the event, Olympian being abused on twitter, Olympics audiences being asked to only tweet urgent tweets as servers are struggling to cope with the traffic and are threatening disrupt the scores information being relayed to the broadcasting centres on time or it may mean refer to the social network censoring criticism of the official broadcasters by allegedly alerting NBC to the descenting tweets of their coverage by a journalist.

The journalist in question is Guy Adams, the Indy's LA correspondent.  His twitter account was suspended for what was referred to as a breach of terms and conditions (I don't know where to find them).  All he did was tweet a publicly available e-mail address of an NBC senior executive responsible for the appalling TV coverage of the event which has been dubbed #NBCFail.  More than 24 hours later his account has been re-instated and accompanied by an apology and blog post further explaining (more) twitter terms.

It's sad to see a platform was heralded as a one of the key players in the Arab Spring is morphing into a power hungry, censorious and bullying corporation.  Maybe you could get away with that 20 years ago but not today.  There's always some whippersnapper somewhere in a basement working on the next big thing.  Today's consumer is savvy and very fickle and twitter may find that their days are numbered if they keep messing with their users right to free speech.

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