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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Twitter experience smacks of scare tactics

Having been active on Twitter for about two months, I've found the experience to be a strange mix of the good, the bad, and the ugly. Accounts are nicely formatted with wonderful design options; tweets are generally informative and often humorous. But my first "followers" had accounts loaded with obscenities. Four letter filth. Pictures of drug addicts and thugs. I blocked them, but there was a weird pop-up when the cursor was paused over the word "you" in the message, "retweeted by you," that accompanies retweets. Instead of my name appearing, the pop-up mimiced the message, stating "Retweeted by You," and linked to an account titled "You" which referenced a "wallace" located in "Wilsonville." There was four letter filth, and emblazoned in large letters across the top was "I kill people who nudge me." This situation persisted for about two or three weeks after I compalined to Twitter. No proof of a connection, but searching Twitter, I found a David Wallace who owns one of those "reputation management" companies that protect corporations from "Consumer Generated Media." Kinda made me wonder if someone was tryin' to discourage me from criticizin' Toyota.

Many tweets are peppered with obscenities. That seems inconsistent with Twitter's avowed concern for a "quality" search experience, and I won't belabor the aggravation of apostrophies appearing as ' (commonly understood to stand for "annoying piece of s..."). Then there's Twitter's policy of punishing rules violations by suddenly blocking tweets from search. Common courtesy dictates the need for a polite warning before taking such drastic action. I don't think most folks - especially newcomers - intentionally violate Twitter's directives, and some accounts violate the rules with apparent impunity, repeatedly submitting similar or identical tweets and identical links.
Twitter leaves quite a bit to be desired, but has the potential to become a class act. Here's another critique: