Monday, May 10, 2010
Twitter vs the Geeks
Those who spend too much time on their main Twitter page looking at their follower numbers were put in a state of confusion last night as their numbers were temporarily set to zero.
This was not a glitch, more it was Twitter fixing one.
Geeks and those who feel slighted by the fact that the famous don't follow back their 3.2 million followers found a loophole in Twitter that could be exploited to force anyone they wanted to follow them back. It was a little-known annoyance that the more popular folks dealt with quietly. Until popular social media/geek blog Gizmodo got wind of it and published a "how-to" guide to the little hack and people were suddenly following thousands of people they did not want to. Fun.
Twitter spent a few hours fixing the boo-boo and restoring everyone's counts and all is well once again, but it leads me to a few thoughts about why such a bug was created. If it was not for pecuniary gain by "social networking professionals", than what was it?
I've seen tweets from people complaining that *insertnamehere* doesn't follow them back. Really, why do people care so much? Will your life REALLY be improved if Yoko Ono follows you back? If the answer is yes, you need to get a life. If it would make your day to get a "hello" from someone you admire at least say something relevant to the person. I'm sure Ashton Kutcher gets a million "I LOVE you. U R soooo kewl" messages a week, so if you want him to acknowledge your existence (a.k.a. tweet you back) make a reference to something relevant to an intelligent dude in his mid-30's. Exacting your revenge vis-a-vis hacking will only piss off the person whose attention you so desire, and it should because you are behaving like a creep.
At the end of the day, people are individuals - with their own morals, world views, pastimes, friends, and even people they follow on social networks. Their real lives are often completely different from their work lives, but most of all, those lives are their own- identities that are personal property forged by DNA and augmented by life experience. We cannot force humans to do anything against their own will and as small as this hack is on the scale of pertinence, it is still a violation.
Kudos to Twitter for continuing to thwart attacks on privacy and choice. Hey, Facebook- are YOU listening?
Posted by Michel-Exildas Galipeau at 21:34