In case you've not yet heard, Twitter has filed a lawsuit in its efforts to combat spam on Twitter.
From a good article by Mark Raby at Slashgear.com, I extracted the following:
"Those named in the lawsuit are TweetAttacks, TweetAdder, TweetBuddy, Garland Harries, and James Lucero. “By shutting down tool providers, we will prevent other spammers from having these services at their disposal. With this suit, we’re going straight to the source,” Twitter wrote in a public blog post. The company wants you to know it’s as annoyed by these spammers as you are."
"Nevertheless, Twitter doesn’t want these guys to go to prison. It just has to prove that they are violating its terms of service and willfully damaging the site. Of course, it will most likely get settled out of court."
Actually, this whole thing is retarded. Basically, of the 140-million-whatever Twitter users, probably, what, a few hundred thousand use software like TweetAdder? And of those, a smaller fraction use it to spam in order to make money via pay-per-click online "businesses"?
This is the modern, electronic, virtual version of all those lawsuits which happened in the 90s when people began trying to sue manufacturers after their products were used by low-life douchebags to commit crimes and myriad heinous acts of repugnance.
Smith and Wesson are NOT responsible when some moron uses one of their firearms to do something evil.
Similarly, the nice folks at TweetAdder et al are NOT responsible when some moron uses their software to send spam in order to try and make a few bucks. Spam is annoying, yes, but the capitalistic incentive driving it is The American Way.
Whenever I have someone who sends me a tweet or a DM that looks like spam, I check their timeline to confirm they're sending the same crap to everyone, and then I click Report Spammer beside the cute little skull icon. It gives me such joy to do so, by the way.
I hope TweetAdder et al prevail in this spurious lawsuit. Before I began using TweetAdder, I was spending approximately five hours per day managing my Twitter accounts. As an independent novelist/publisher, Twitter is my principal marketing tool through which I share my work with others. TweetAdder has been a blessing. And I never use it to spam. I use it to follow and return follow, and to send a message saying hello and offering a free copy of one of my novels. I try to do so in a nice way which is non-intrusive and not "spammy".
Of the dozen or so articles I read discussing the lawsuit, the vast majority of the comments posted by others were in favor of the lawsuit. Clearly these are people who, like most of us, despise spam. But I believe they have failed to realize the other side of the equation, the side on which writers such as myself rely on the software for their livelihood.
Remember last summer when "Governor" Jerry Brown and the California "Legislature" passed that stupid tax law and Amazon immediately shut down all California-based affiliates? Thereby driving hundreds of thousands of businesses into the ditch virtually overnight?
And what happened? The "leaders" in Sacramento reversed themselves so that Amazon and its affiliates in California could continue to operate. Why California has become so anti-business is beyond the scope of this blog post, but suffice it to say that it is a disturbing trend.
At any rate, I hope this stupid lawsuit will be settled in some way which enables honest, hardworking people to continue their hard, honest work, rather than punishing everyone because there are a few dumb asses out there behaving like dumb asses.
Here's Twitter's official statement on their blog for anyone who hasn't read it: