Twitter 'Spammer' Lawsuits - What's the Real Motivation?
I hate Spam just as much as the next person.
And nobody likes it when they get assaulted by a stream of Viagra-advertisements on Twitter - or even worse, click on seemingly worthwhile links only to be sent to questionable or even dangerous websites.
But I am extremely skeptical about Twitter's lawsuits against TweetAdder, Tweetbuddy, TweetAttack and such.
To be sure, there are assuredly people who use the aforementioned products to send out unwanted or dangerous noise. But I know that there are other, more effective ways that Twitter could employ to test links to see if they resolved into dangerous destinations, etc.
But I do know people who use tools such as TweetAdder for reasonable and responsible business use. And lots of other people who have developed automated scripts and such, rather than use products like TweetAdder.
Frankly, I am just downright skeptical of a company that has repeatedly tried to shut down ALL third party Twitter clients. Not just ones that make it easy to do Spam. Twitter declared war on third party developers a couple of years ago. About a year ago, Platform lead Ryan Sarver wrote "Developers ask us if they should build client apps that mimic or reproduce the mainstream Twitter consumer client experience. The answer is no."
Between the threat of lawsuits, and absurd terms of service, Twitter is simply on a campaign to exterminate third-party Twitter tools and effectively control all aspects of the Twitter experience for it's 140 Million active users.
It's not a bad strategy - but it's annoying when Twitter is so self-righteous and indignant in their public statements. Interestingly, nobody - from CNN to WSJ to Reuters has even vaguely questioned Twitter's motivations. The ompanies getting sued get the label "Spammer" slapped on them, and they might as well be terrorists - guilty until proven innocent.
In an online statement, Twitter stated, "We've focused on tool providers; They have willfully created tools that enable others to propagate spam on Twitter."
Based on that logic, people and companies should be out there suing every company that creates a product that could somehow be used for evil purposes - manufacturers of kitchen knives perhaps, or baseball bats, or even toilet paper.
Twitter also added, "By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. Further, we hope the suit acts as a deterrent to other spammers, demonstrating the strength of our commitment to keep them off Twitter."
Perhaps they should have said, "By finding various ways to shut down and intimidate all third party tools vendors, we seek to control all access to the Twitter community. Further, we hope that these acts will be a deterrent to any developer who wants to innovate and provide better solutions to the Twitter community".