Posted on May 23, 2008 | 59 Comments

Picture 21

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).


  1. Mark Forman
    May 23, 2008

    I appreciate your writing summary out in detail and feel you’ve been fairly calm and collected about things. Hopefully Twitter folks will think things through clearly and come up with a reasonable position and stand by it. Hopefully being the operative word.

  2. Ariel Waldman » Blog Archive » Twitter refuses to uphold Terms of Service
    May 23, 2008

    […] Contact Community in the comments Twitter responds […]

  3. Ariel und die Twitter TOS | Twitterdings
    May 23, 2008

    […] Update: Ariel hat einen Follow-Up gepostet ] function fbs_click(u,t) { void(‘’+ […]

  4. Voideka
    May 23, 2008

    When you use a company’s own policies against them, it’s the quickest way to enact change. If the fear on Twitter’s part is of a lawsuit, then give them fear of a lawsuit on the other end of the spectrum: out your harasser publicly. A reaction will ensue, and Twitter’s lawyers will probably decide to update their TOS again, back towards the original. Of course there is a slight moral quandary involved, but it’s up to you to weigh in on it yourself.

  5. Paul Decowski
    May 23, 2008

    I’m totalling supporting you on this one. Many people are saying “You were called names. So what? Get over it.” That would be the case was it a one-off incident. In this case it clearly is harrasment.

  6. Twitter Responds to the Mob, Community still Divided. • DygiScape
    May 23, 2008

    […] a different note, Ariel Waldman posted an update and a clarification on her intent with talking about it. She was pointing out the lack of community […]

  7. Luke
    May 23, 2008

    The funny thing (if such a thing is still possible with regards to all of this) is that the initial issue, the sending of abusive messages via Twitter, now almost seems like a side-topic. More people are just pissed with the way this issue has been handled by Twitter, and what seems to be the lack of any understanding or empathy coming from that side of the camp.
    Disappointing that we need to have all these long rolling battles just because of the difference in interpretation of where a communications provider/community administrator (whatever they want to call it) should and should not act.

  8. Paul Dettman
    May 23, 2008

    I’m checking out at this point – maybe it’s my jetlag but Twitter has been more down than up for a while now and I’m particularly irritated by which is not ‘founder’ or CxO behaviour. I figured Twitter was on the verge of mainstream acceptance but they have proved they will not be able to handle the transition. Whatever the legal opinions aired (by lawyers or otherwise), even if Twitter do come under the same heading as AT&T, they still have an obligation to stop harrassment. There are a number of things any phone provider can and will do to help in these situations, including making phone records available to law enforcement. Well done for being so brave in airing all of this, especially as you know the guys personally.

  9. d5
    May 23, 2008

    real justice is so hard to come by nowadays, isn’t it?

    back in the day, all the “1337” kids on aol could TOS anyone they wanted by using multiple phishes and send corroborating messages complaining about a certain user and then *poof* their account goes dead.

    i imagine these imbeciles at twitter shrugged you off as some crazy girl who is having an internet fight with some crazy guy.


    maybe you just work for twitter. : )

  10. Aldon Hynes
    May 23, 2008

    I have been fascinated by this because of the setting where I read this. I am attending the 18th Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference. Wednesday there was a big discussion about cyber-harassment and yesterday there was a discussion about activism and online due process.

    These are very important issues, which the Twitter TOS case is just one instance. It isn’t surprising that it has gotten such a strong reaction. Ev and Biz would be wise to think very carefully about what it means to be just a communications utility and what it means to be part of a community.

    I’ve written more about this on my blog and hope this discussion continues and grows.


  11. Prokofy Neva
    May 23, 2008

    Ariel, if you really believed you had a case of cyberstalking, harassment, libel, or whatever, why did you not avail yourself of a real-life lawyer and court system, then seek Twitter’s cooperation in serving notice on the alleged perpetrator?

    Instead, you incited a mob which was all at the ready to bully Twitter — and by extension every user who uses Twitter to make critical comments that someone, somewhere might dislike — into curbing speech?

    Seriously, people like you imagine the First Amendment is “somewhere else”. Where will that place BE? If most people are online using social media services like Twitter, and as private companies they are to be muzzled and restricted not only by arbitrary and elastic TOS terms, but by mobs imagining they should interpret them with every subjective whim, where does the Constitutional protection of free speech take place?

    There is no “community”. There are many “communities” but they are not as defined as some imagine. There are many levels of tolerance. You could *see* something bothering you *because of your reading of your own vanity feed*. Not following people, and also blocking them from following you in real time, are already pretty good tools to control Twitter. If on top of that, you need to use track or search to follow what people are saying about you or fearing to miss every last tweet from a friend, then you will have to be willing to use the delete button on some undesirable findings.

    I don’t want Ev and Biz to be “part of the community” or to “preside over a community” or to “hear the community” or “do what the community wants” — whatever the tiny 1-2 percent of forums readers and meta-issuer pronouncers imagine is the “hive mind”. No. They should run a platform for communications, full stop, and let community-forming be done by people themselves who use it. If you don’t want to take the hazards of public discourse, there are always private IMs like AIM or Yahoo or email.

  12. Shelley
    May 23, 2008

    I can agree with Prokofy, other than to say the First Amendment has to do with government suppressing free speech. Businesses can do what they want within their own confines–there is no issue of “free speech” or censorship.

    I thought that Twitter’s response was remarkably mature. Harassment is difficult to define, especially in an environment where “stalking” is built into the core technology. If Twitter has to intervene between members, it takes on the role of nanny rather than technology producer. By refining the TOS and explicitly stating that Twitter is communication, not community, the company has made a very important decision. To me, the only really good decision that could be made. Actually my respect for the company has increased, not decreased.

    The individual who you said was harassing you removed their account in March. No one can see the messages, and the interchange between you to make an informed decision. People did react without thinking, and as mob. Yes, you did want to generate this reaction, or you wouldn’t have wrote your posts as you did.

    Did the person threaten you? Were you unable to use the technology because of their actions? Were you unable to maintain a public presence because of their actions?

    Last but not least: isn’t Pownce considered somewhat of a competitor to Twitter? And you work for Pownce?

    As for women being called names, I’ve worked in the tech field for 25 years. There will always be people threatened by us, whose only form of expression is simplistic and crude. Frankly, they are much less of a “threat” than the people who use sweet words as they condescendingly pat us on the heads, and tell us to go home and take care of our kids.

  13. Twitter dances on the edge of very dangerous territory — TechWag
    May 23, 2008

    […] Ariel Waldman is now on that list of folks who is dealing with a very unfriendly secret stalker who is following her via Twitter. Twitter rather than deal with the issue directly and banning the user has decided to do nothing about the issue and rewrite their terms of service rather than enforce it. That essentially means that twitter is now giving a green light to a big pile of badness that is going to descend on the service, if they refuse to reign in folks who are clearly harassing other members of their service. The harassment continued throughout the course of 2007. Since Twitter and I had an open dialog started, I would periodically report cases of continuing harassment (some of which spread between Flickr and Twitter). Twitter would take no action while Flickr would immediately ban and remove all traces of the harassment. Unfortunately, in 2008 it escalated to a level that could no longer be ignored. Tweets were being fired off directly calling me a “cunt” amongst other harassing language. On March 14, I wrote to Twitter, giving the example URLs of abuse and stated to them clearly: Source: Ariel Waldman […]

  14. Eguled
    May 23, 2008

    I totally agree with Prokofy Neva. I don’t want Twitter being the arbiter of speech.

    Also, I have to say that your mom’s comment post was actually prtty cool. I like how she called you out at the end, that was pretty funny actually.

    But more important, if this person is in fact stalking you like your mom describes, that truly sucks, and you shouldn’t have to deal with crap like that. But that should be between you and that guy, not something Twitter should be getting involved in with deciding what is harrassment vs. what is a series of insults.

    “I don’t want Ev and Biz to be “part of the community” or to “preside over a community” or to “hear the community” or “do what the community wants” — whatever the tiny 1-2 percent of forums readers and meta-issuer pronouncers imagine is the “hive mind”. No. They should run a platform for communications, full stop, and let community-forming be done by people themselves who use it. If you don’t want to take the hazards of public discourse, there are always private IMs like AIM or Yahoo or email.”

  15. AC
    May 23, 2008

    Yeah, see it really comes down to definitions doesn’t it? Off line you just can’t be an asshole all the time can you? “Communities” don’t allow someone to stand on the street in front of your house (despite the first amendment) and hurl names and vitriol at you. At some point, you’re disturbing the peace of the community and you will be “shut down” by the law which which was put in place by the community. Likewise, “communities” put in place measures of safety regarding stalking don’t they? But online people make sport of being horrid asses (likely because irl they are cowards). That’s what makes Twitter’s response diabolical. Service or community? Regardless of Twitter’s definition, if USERS define themselves as a community it’s acceptable for the community to be upset with the assholes in their midst. Online society will eventually mirror real society. To succeed and gain access, you’re going to have to adhere to some standards of decency. That day won’t come too soon for most of us.

  16. swapnilrocks
    May 23, 2008

    Sorry ..i am clueless on the topic…but juz came across ur profile N thought bout saying HI :)

  17. Average Betty
    May 23, 2008

    Thank you for the eye-opening, honest and intelligent posts. I wish you the best of luck – this sort of thing can happen to anyone.

  18. Dave
    May 23, 2008

    The more I thought about this the more angry I got. Not at Twitter but by this underhanded attempt to stir up a mob against a competitor of your employer. I am done with the useless Pownce site and have removed my account. This is really dirty pool and I hope you and your bosses get called on it.

  19. May 23: What’s Interesting This Morning - GigaOM
    May 23, 2008

    […] Twitter has another problem, and this one isn’t about scaling. Success has its price, guys. […]

  20. Phillip
    May 23, 2008

    I’ve followed MOST of this and don’t believe the following question has been asked: you work for Pownce right? Is that relevant?

  21. kosso
    May 23, 2008

    OK. I have tried to deal with offending IP’s on a case by case basis. Ariel had contacted me a while ago about previous times when there were abuses of the system, directed at her.

    So… I’m shutting it down.

    Twitter need to deal with this, as it is VERY easy to create a service like this.

  22. kosso
    May 23, 2008

    @confession is now closed until further notice :

  23. Digidave
    May 23, 2008

    Overall I really support you and what you are doing.

    But in reading all this I have to wonder if your position at Pownce puts you in a compromising situation?

    I’m not accusing you of anything. I get the impression that all this is very heartfelt. I don’t doubt that you were harassed and that it upset you – and I do think that Twitter should have responded. But somehow I see this mixing in with your role at Pownce. I’m sure whoever cuts your checks isn’t upset at this uproar you caused.

    Again: Just an angle to all this that I think should be addressed. You should be more upfront about your role at Pownce so people know about it. It doesn’t change what happened – or how much it sucks. So – keep on rocking.

  24. ericabiz
    May 23, 2008

    Your biggest thank you should go to kosso, who shut the confession service down of his own accord. Still agree that Twitter should have done this, but thank you, kosso, for doing what Twitter wouldn’t.

    Hopefully now the assholes won’t be able to get a real following in the community.


  25. Joseph Hunkins
    May 23, 2008

    Ariel I *really* want to support your point of view because I think this is a clear harassment case and because online eabuse is out of hand and the community it tolerating too much of it in the name of free speech. However you need to post the offending exchange because Pownce allows people to call woment the c* word in commenting. I don’t like that but this is clearly *not* the issue here. I’m not sure it’s possible for Twitter (or Pownce or anyone) to review extensive information about people and relationships.

  26. Erin Kissane
    May 23, 2008

    Nice job keeping focused and sane, Ms. Waldman.

    There are important choices about community and responsibility at the heart of this discussion, and it’s been really good to see them discussed. (It’s also been disheartening to see Twitter reveal its philosophy on the issues, and to see all the passive-agressive communication from them both in your original post and throughout the day yesterday.)

  27. - its all here. » Blog Archive » 1st thoughts: twitter not upholding TOS, tumblr dreams, john mccain; die already.
    May 23, 2008

    […] caught something rather interesting, which you can read about here. there is also an update here (via Not a good move, twitter. after defending you so – this is not a good thang […]

  28. gregor samsa
    May 23, 2008

    for someone who’s been stalked since junior high or something (according to your mother on the previous post) you sure as shit know how to keep a low profile, huh?

  29. Noel Jackson
    May 23, 2008

    Sad to see Twitter not recognize the value of running a responsible community. I’m sure this is not the first time we’ll see an incident like this occur. I’m curious as to how they are going to amend their TOS.

  30. Mark Jaquith
    May 23, 2008

    Ariel, you’ve said that having the user banned would be an acceptable outcome. What if Twitter updated their TOS to make it clear that they’re a utility, not a community, and that absent illegal activity, spam, etc, they won’t be censoring Twitter content? It doesn’t help you out, but at least others won’t be given false hope that the TOS can rescue them from their persecutors.

  31. Ariel Waldman
    May 23, 2008

    @ericabiz you’re right and I have worked with kosso and thanked him in the past and I very much appreciated his objective understanding of the issue.

    I chose not to mention him because the majority of the harassment I reference was created by a different account than the one he had created and I didn’t want to drag him through this.

  32. Twittes’s Issues - Russ Wittmann
    May 23, 2008

    […] has appeard to have brought this up to the floks at Twitter and I have been blowed away with the response she has gotten from […]

  33. james
    May 23, 2008

    dealing with this issue for you is not a scalable solution for twitter. it puts them in the position of having to arbitrate every flame war that pops up on their site. if you are getting harassed, go through the proper channels by contacting the police. some judge will then subpoena twitter for information and can try to stop the person. expecting twitter to shut down someone else’s account is just because you don’t like that they called you a cunt is ridiculous. and the truth is, the person would just create another account and continue harassing you.

  34. GeekMommy
    May 23, 2008

    I admit to being surprised when I read this. It is a far more rational and balanced follow-up than I expected. In part, I think, because yesterday’s furious storm that the “mob” you mentioned stirred up.

    I’m truly sorry that you are being stalked. Given that you are beautiful, articulate, opinionated, intelligent, and a ‘public’ person, I’m afraid it won’t be the last time you have some lunatic fixated on you.

    But you seem to be handling it rather well… despite the nastiness of the particular attacks.

    That said, kudos for a well-written, well-thought out follow up.

    I’m rather surprised that Jack told you they ‘hadn’t dealt with that before’ given the number of times it has been on getsatisfaction lately – but who knows, maybe he wasn’t paying attention?

    Either way… well said.

  35. Shelley
    May 23, 2008

    Interesting comment by Ev Williams in Jeffrey Zeldman’s post.

    Very interesting, in fact.

  36. WilliamBraski
    May 23, 2008

    Welcome to the Internet.

    There is a reason why I avoid all those ridiculous “Web 2.0” social sites. A couple really: A) I’m not that conceited and don’t need/want the attention B) There are a lot of douche bags in the world.

    Could be worse, you could be a real celebrity that has to deal with cameras in your face all day long and people trying to sneak whatever blurry snapshot they can of you naked or your kids.

  37. Chuck Rampart
    May 24, 2008

    I’ve made a habit of actually reading terms of service, painful though it is, because often I find frightening things (like one that linked to a data mining service that bragged about providing info to Fortune 500 companies and government intelligence agencies.) I read them even though I know they can change in an instant, and I may or may not hear about the changes. But this story is especially disturbing because it reveals a case in which the TOS is as selectively enforced as some of our actual laws, that despite the formal language it’s a one way street, open to interpretation, and ultimately comes down to lawyers and money.

  38. Daniel Jalkut
    May 24, 2008

    After reading through some of the back and forth on Zeldman’s blog comments. What a situation this is turning into.

    Here’s one solution: Twitter offers Ariel 2x her Pownce salary to be *its* community manager. No more perceived conflict of interest, and Ariel is in a position to make positive change in a service many of us find invaluable.

  39. Kimi Wei
    May 24, 2008

    Ariel, I’m glad you’re speaking out about abuse being shelled out to you, and that you’re trying to get Twitter to take its own TOS seriously. Whether Twitter calls itself a community, or a communication vehicle seems completely irrelevant to me. Twitter should not allow itself to be used either as a smut machine, or a smut-facilitation machine.

    As for the language your harrasser uses. People – what’s up with the questions asking if Ariel really is a c***? What do you think this stupid word means, anyway. Do you stop and think how much a reflection it is on your own position in society that you believe it’s OK to throw comments at a person that are obviously intended to hurt that person? Do you know how silly it is to ask Ariel if she is something that has no real meaning in the context in which the c word is being used?

    Mac Dictionary defines:

    cunt |kənt|
    noun vulgar slang
    a woman’s genitals.
    • offensive a woman.
    ORIGIN Middle English : of Germanic origin; related to Norwegian and Swedish dialect kunta, and Middle Low German, Middle Dutch, and Danish dialect kunte.

  40. lol
    May 24, 2008

    wtf. why do people read this drivel?

  41. Bigstarlet
    May 24, 2008

    HI Ariel,

    I read initial post where you reported this person to Twitter, read your mom’s account of how far back you and this harrasser actually go, and the response Twitter provided. I think that to say you are doing the right thing would be an understatement.

    I have no issues with Twitter, myself. In fact, most of my closest friends and I keep in touch through it. I do have issues with people trying to drive me off the internet due to some perceived wrong, minor difference of opinion, or just the fact that I’m a woman stating my mind, among other things. It would have been easy for Ms. Waldman to just shut her twitter account and walk away, but since she’s obviously a person of principle, she’d stay and fight. And frankly, it’s easier to get your case stated, as well as get changes made, in the realm of public domain, rather than in the closed doors of a court room.

    And for those of you telling Ms. Waldman that it’s just the internet, get over the trolls and get a life, I have two words for you.

    Kathy Sierra

    Kick ass and take names, Ariel!

  42. calvin
    May 24, 2008

    I can’t believe the amount of stress and hyperbole I read here, all over a simple Internet site. Why don’t you just use something else to chat with your friends? Twitter obviously doesn’t meet your needs. You seem like you want to be right here so badly, you might just want to let it go and move on. Letting go of stressful things is very liberating, I have found.
    What is clear here is you are as overboard in your obsession over a stupid website as Twitter is lost in their management of something that is clearly beyond their ability.

  43. Joe
    May 24, 2008

    Prokofy, one of the reasons people don’t avail themselves to lawyers is that the legal system isn’t exactly accessible.

    Navigating the law can be an intimidating and difficult process and it is often prohibitively expensive.

    It is simpler to avail yourself to more immediate measures of defense, than to spend thousands of dollars and years of your time (because the legal system is slower than molasses) in a dispiriting, disempowering, and frustrating legal maze where the possibility of finding justice is only slightly higher than the possibility of finding a leprechaun with a pot of gold.

    There is a reason why few women report the crimes that they experience — that is because the justice system is a very unwelcoming and hostile place, a place that often holds victims in deeper contempt than it does criminals.

  44. On Twitter, downtime and my lack of updates… |
    May 24, 2008

    […] less over the last few weeks, I absolutely LOVE Twitter. LOVE. LOVE. But Twitter has had a rough week. Let’s […]

  45. vaspers aka steven e. streight
    May 24, 2008

    Mobs can be very good. That’s how the USA was founded. We mobbed the British troops and oppressors. I’m totally on your side, Ariel. Twitter is user-hostile.

  46. People don't like you because they're earlier versions of you | Torley Lives
    May 25, 2008

    […] Of course it doesn't. Of course it isn't. It creates more waste and pain, as witnessed in Ariel Waldman's recent crappy time. […]

  47. The War of the Tweets « Thoughts, Raves & Outright Beatings
    May 25, 2008

    […] is why I felt that Twitter’s follow-up response to Ariel was irresponsible, at best.  All of a sudden, there’s a lack of understanding of how the […]

  48. BullSh*t: Twitter Responds « Duhh
    May 26, 2008

    […] Twitter has responded to the claim by Ariel Waldman that she was harassed on Twitter and she has responded back again. In Ariel’s response to Twitters response she claims she didn’t intend it to get […]

  49. Craig R.
    May 26, 2008

    First, Twitter is not immune to suit if they claim that they are just a “communications service.”

    Second, The claim of “just providing a
    service” did not help those who were sued by the various media companies when other “sertvice providers” were involved in file sharing. And it appears that the current case law is trumping the “ISPs cannot be held responsible” clause in the “decency act” From what I can tell from reading of other cases, it appears that the “shield” to the ISP disdappears after they have been informed of the issue and they have actually investigated. At that point they are in the position of a newspaper that continues to allow an advertiser to publish libel or slander. Which is to put them on *very* shakey legasl ground. Even opening themselves up to suit for deliberatly and activley facilitating the slanders publication.

    Third, the item in TOS where they claim to not have to do anything also opens them up to being parties to the harrassment,m because, again, the wording says that, if they have looked at the imputed offensive writings, and refuse to take action *even if the content is deeemed to be actionable* sets them up for legal remedy (if it were to turn into a criminal case rather than a civil case it could be deemed as accessory after the fact”

    Fourth, in this kind of commercial enterprise, the spectre of “violating rights to free speech” fails on at least two grounds: the “right” to commercial free speech is a “right” that protects the commercial enterprise from arbitraty “suppression of speech” by a government entity, not “suppression” by a private party through legal means (such as banning a user from a service, by the service, the equivalen of telling an vulgar and obscene household guest to leave), and, even in the case of the government action to “suppress,” the right is not absolute even there. There are limits.

    Fifth — it would seem to me that a company that is still dependant upon outside capital for maintaioning service and/or growth that they would be a lot more proactive in making sure that their actions will not be viewed by those providing said funding for the company in a light that says that the management is not performing all they can to make/keep the company successful. If they cannot keep their house in order enough that they drive away ordinary, non-harrassing, customers, either current or future, what else is wromg with their business plan? (I for one, what had thought of having a presence on Twitter, will not bother now — life is too short to put up with the dreck if one has no resource.

    Overall, cyberbullying ans cyberstalking are dangerous, and too many people think that it’s jkust a case of “get over it.” Tell that to the family of the teenager who killed herself after the cyberhassment of her by a fellow-classmate’s mother (who has now been charged)

    – Craig R.

  50. not my name
    May 26, 2008

    Gosh, I only found out about this issue today, via the Twitter site itself, and all I can say is:

    It’s highly, highly disturbing.

    Twitter is not a communication facility like the phone and ISPs, which are NETWORKS. Unless you’re in the habit of like, hooking your home phone to a loudspeaker so all your neighbors can hear. That’s just the most ridiculous argument I’ve ever heard. It’s an online service and a website, case closed. It’s more like MAGAZINES AND TV, nothing at all like TELEPHONES, CABLES and WIRELESS ROUTERS CONNECTED TO YOUR COMPUTER OR PHONE. Please grow a brain before saying such easily debunked silly crap :P

  51. not my name
    May 26, 2008

    my response was aimed at a few of the commentators (prok, et al, and the SILLY Twitter responses on various sites which seem to misconstrue the situation and compare apples to oranges. you can PUBLISH over a network but a network is not a public meeting and publishing platform > it is just one thing you can do with a communications network… just one thing. Silly silly people :))

    I support Ariel, after digging further and seeing many of the original postings. It IS tiring after dealing for years with this kind of harrassment, I know that first hand – just the bit I saw was already way over the line and I wouldn’t doubt the story there’s more, spread over many sites – seen the MO before, its a really common one. I’ve had it before at another site years ago, and I can completely sympathise (hence I don’t use a name here – sorry but I dont want it happening again!). And it can blow up in a terrible way, so take care of yourself and looking into seeking those restraining orders if you have to. Better safe than sorry. :)

  52. NJ
    May 26, 2008

    Memo to Ariel:

    Get a life, girl!

    You claim to report on, among other things, sex, and then you get your panties in a wad over being called a cunt? Wow. Just Wow.

    Frankly, I would have never thought that anyone who has experienced puberty would be on Twitter in the first place, much less getting her bowels in an uproar over some wordy dird some other child said.

  53. Ehud Gavron
    May 26, 2008

    “Wrong and right” are not black and white. No — wait, yeah they are. YOU ARE RIGHT. You do not deserve to be harassed on the Internet nor does someone need to provide a forum for tha harassment. Best of luck to you in regaining your right to unobstructed free expression.

  54. Ixian
    May 27, 2008

    Having taken a long weekend and disconnecting myself from the net I’ve come to this a little late. Having seen the whole series of events before commenting, I have to say that Twitter acted in a very disappointing manner at best, and they’ve likely lost a lot of people who were considering using it till this happened. Secondly, pretty much everyone who has comments like NJ up above me or advocated just quitting twitter apparently are brain dead or something. Anyone with a company online or even a recognized presence online must take every bit of name calling and whatnot much more seriously since, in the end, these things can affect their ability to make money if left unattended. Frankly even if the person being attacked in this way does nothing in life that could be affected by someone wrecking the google results for their name, why on Earth should people have to put up with this crap simply because it’s the “internet?” Does being online suddenly mean you should have to be open to people being complete jackasses, and does it suddenly excuse behavior that is inexcusable in the physical world? Behavior that civilized and mature societies do not allow and even have some laws that apply?

    NJ, does being online really give a person the right to mentally and socially regress into a personality unfit for any civilized interaction? It boggles the mind to even think that something initially made to help science should instead be a reason to take some steps back on social evolution.

  55. When User-Generated Content Goes Bad : New Web 2.0 Magazine
    May 27, 2008

    […] of the whole crowd, as in the situation with Ariel Waldman’s complaint against Twitter. Even she admits on her blog that she never meant "…to bring a mob with pitchforks to Twitter’s door," yet […]

  56. Blog of kaiyen » Twitter & its Terms of Service - revisited
    May 29, 2008

    […] Ariel Waldman » Blog Archive » Twitter responds […]

  57. The Dark Side of Customer Service 2.0 at Marketing Blog
    May 31, 2008

    […] Waldman, a popular user, said she’d been receiving harassing tweets — 140 character messages sent out in a public forum — and asked Twitter customer […]

  58. - the cyberworks of Matthew G. Knell - » Blog Archive » Dear Twitter
    July 23, 2008

    […] sure, there have been tough times between us. I’ve listened to both sides in the harrassment argument. The countless stories about you being “dead“, and washed up.  But I still believed in […]

  59. Ariel Waldman vs. Twitter, When TOS Doesn’t Apply to You | PR2.0
    March 20, 2009

    […] She’s right. Note, I’m not including the extreme language used against Ariel in this post. Her case is strong enough without it. If you would like to read about the jaw-dropping insults and attacks, read her posts here and here. […]