Wow, totally did not expect today to be as overwhelming as it was. There are a lot of things being thrown around, some valid and others completely nonsensical, so I’d like to clear a few of them up (hoping to be less long-winded than my last post).
Twitter did respond, twice on Get Satisfaction, first here and then here. The general reaction seems mixed with some people satisfied by Twitter’s response while others are not. A lot of the friction seems to be around how Twitter should be perceived. A decent portion of Twitter users see the service as a community (similar to Flickr), while Twitter chooses to view themselves as a “communication utility” (similar to AT&T). But ultimately, this is an issue of accountability. And Twitter’s strategy of revising their Terms of Service rather than living up to the agreements they made with users is troubling.
To be clear, it wasn’t my intention to bring a mob with pitchforks to Twitter’s door. I don’t believe in mob-rule and again, I like Twitter and the people who work there.
It was my intention to speak out about a community management issue and to focus on the decisions a company made. I did not write this to “cry”, “whine”, or be “insecure” about being called a “c—”. To put it bluntly, I’m not and I certainly don’t let things like this ruin my day. I feel like it’s a prerequisite for any blogger or person who puts themselves “out there” to have a thick skin. Yes, the reality of the internet is dealing with these issues – Violet Blue has a great post called “Every girl online is fat, ugly and unsexy. Here’s how to get over it“. If I didn’t feel like I could “deal” with these issues, I wouldn’t be involved in any of the things I am.
The issue *is* about the decisions that were made and answers I was given directly from Twitter. It didn’t seem like they had a process or policy to their TOS and did not handle it as well as other services had. Overall, it came off as inexperience with community management issues.
Admittedly, a couple of Ev’s tweets were off-putting, but this was a rough day and I don’t think that anyone was very happy by the end of it. I feel that some of his frustration may be from the fact that a number of people (both publicly and privately) told me cases where Twitter had banned a user for more extreme violations. In my post, I outline that in my phone conversation with Jack:
I asked Jack if Twitter had ever dealt with stalkers or banning people before and he told me they never had.
It was pretty clear in conversation and I remember being shocked about that fact afterwards. Neither here nor there, it seems to be a miscommunication, and I’m glad people are sharing their different experiences with me.
This has generated SO many opinions, and I very much appreciate the critical and supportive sides to this. It’s extremely inspiring that people feel as passionately about these topics as I do, whether or not they agree with me or Twitter.
So, I’m not quite sure yet where this leaves everything. As stated earlier, it seems to come down to a disagreement over how some people view Twitter and how they view themselves.
(Note: I turned comments off on the last blog post, because after 276 comments and your own mother finally chiming in at the end, there’s probably little else to say that hasn’t already been said). (Comments are now closed on this post as well).
Update: Copying and pasting from my last post for those not wanting to click-through: This is already disclosed in the about section of this blog already, but I am stating it again here at the request of others: I am the community manager for Pownce, however, this issue started before I was working at Pownce. The opinions stated here do not reflect my clients/employers and I did *not* write this in the interest of them. It is well known that I am not a Twitter-hater (much the opposite).