That Tool You Use? Twitter Lawsuit Says You're Spamming
NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- My name is Jonathan. And I am an accidental Twitter spammer.
My business used to be a simple one. I invested real money and time figuring out how to use emerging digital tools to create the best possible stories at the best possible prices. Web collaboration, online task management, virtual accounting -- that's the sort of wonky digital hunting and gathering my shop bets its future on.
My biz, like most, struggles with scraping profits out of Twitter, Facebook and the rest of social media. So I invested in a bright young social media collaborator, Anthony Mowl, to study and report on what works and doesn't with social media tools for business.
All made sense, until last week. That's when TweetAdder, one of the most interesting social media tools we have written about -- and used -- was named as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by Twitter against companies it considered to be spammers.
According to the suit, filed in the Northern District of California, TweetAdder is "designed to create the impression" its services are permissible on Twitter, when they are not.
Well, I am one of those impressionable souls. Thanks in part to TweetAdder, our Twitter feed, @blumsday, has more than 2,900 some-odd followers who message, retweet and react to my content -- including stories from TheStreet.
Now obviously, I've turned TweetAdder off. A lawsuit is a lawsuit. But it was no easy call. See, Anthony and I maintain we haven't spammed anybody.
In fact, this past week of trying to match the business and ethical realities of Twitter has pointed out several serious questions about this business that investors should carefully consider:
1. Plan on no due process on Twitter ... or the Web.
Twitter is private property. It defines what users can and can't do in its terms of service : No hate speech, no porn, no automated tools. And once the lawsuit was out, I saw the company's concern immediately: TweetAdder and other defendants in the spam suit have the means to send out, without exaggeration, tens of millions of Tweets flogging Viagra or tickets to the Nigerian national lottery.
And let's be honest, TweetAdder plays cat and mouse with Twitter. You'll see it when you visit the company's blog, where it describes updates made to work around Twitter changes.
But we don't sell Viagra. We use TweetAdder as a powerful social media search tool. Its easy-to-use interface and professional layout allowed us to collect very accurate lists of Twitter users who might be interested in our content. It then streamlined how we follow them, with the hope they follow us back. TweetAdder's approach is a major upgrade over Twitter's disgraceful search functions .