Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

The Week All of Twitter's Good Will Evaporated

TwitterGate 2012 has escalated in a remarkable and bad way, with today's revelation that Twitter actually went to NBC to inform them that journalist Guy Adams had put forward NBC exec Gary Zenkel's work email address, not the other way around. (Also, Gary Zenkel has a JD from Georgetown, so it makes it extra sad that he's all up in this mess.)

Twitter is a company with enormous customer good will. They've gotten away with incorporating advertising into their product without harming themselves. They've grown and scaled really well—to watch them trash all that in 24 hours has been unreal, particularly as they've sat firm and silent on a misinterpretation of their own guidelines. This event has rolled back user enthusiasm massively. (And on the heels of them being heroes!) The hilarious part is, of course, that it's not like angry Twitter users will boycott Twitter. They have to have somewhere to gripe.

8 Comments / Post A Comment

BadUncle (#153)

Good will? "Tweet" is the sound i make pooping out a Chick-Fil-A. Which will never happen.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

Twitter has very lucrative advertising and Olympic coverage arrangements with NBC Universal. Guy Adams released email information in violation of Twitter policy which gives them an easy excuse to block his account in order to keep an important client happy. Twitter is looking forward to an IPO and keeping important customers happy is a priority.

Hardly a scandal.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@TheSlateMagazineofAwlCommentators I understood that Twitter policy doesn't actually prohibit the release of publicly available information.

februarymakeup (#236,284)

@dntsqzthchrmn Isn't the crux of this sort of thing the specifics of "public availability" w/r/t the email address in question? I'm not as up on it as I could be, I guess.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

@februarymakeup I was flip before, and I owe Lockheed Ventura an apology — his reading of their policy is identical to their reading of their policy:


"We’ve seen a lot of commentary about whether we should have considered a corporate email address to be private information. There are many individuals who may use their work email address for a variety of personal reasons — and some may not. Our Trust and Safety team does not have insight into the use of every user’s email address, and we need a policy that we can implement across all of our users in every instance."

KenWheaton (#401)

Let's not mistake "consumer goodwill" with "members-of-the-media goodwill."

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