Twitter in review 2012: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Twitter in review 2012: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Summary: A look back at some of the successes and victories, the bad times and controversies, and the downright ugly failures by Twitter and by its users, during 2012.


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  • Twitter API changes angers developers, slaps ecosystem

    The bad: Twitter angered third-party developers earlier this year when it announced it would add restrictions on its API used for applications and services that use the Twitter platform to run.

    The move means that Twitter is gently nudging users towards its own applications, which could open the microblogging service into running in-application adverts or other ways to monetize the service.

    Applications developers will be given a 100,000-user limit unless Twitter authorizes the changes, leading to major third-party Twitter applications to criticize the move. It follows a long string of changes to the terms of conditions that make it more difficult for developers to take advantage of the vast 140 million-plus user platform.

  • Tweets censored by country; reiterates "the tweets must still flow."

    The bad: The microblogging service announced at the start of the year that it would begin to limit tweets by country, in spite of its "the tweets must flow" mantra, in a bid to avoid legal action. 

    For instance, during the 2011 super-injunctions controversy, many who had taken out privacy injunctions were named on Twitter despite breaking a court order that prevented the entire U.K. population from disclosing information that they weren't privy to in the first place.  Also, in some regions of the world, certain content is barred from publication -- such as Nazi content in Germany.

    Ironically, it turned out that many European countries -- not the Middle Eastern or North African countries, often seen as oppressive or lacking freedom of speech laws -- that took advantage of the new censor-by-country service, including Germany and France. But many said they would boycott the service in protest of the move by the service.

  • Rupert Murdoch joins Twitter: Fire in the hole!

    The bad: Rupert Murdoch: love him or hate him -- granted, many seem to choose the latter over the former -- joined Twitter earlier this year. And, as one might expect, the Twitterverse returned heavy fire after the News Corp. chairman and chief executive after he tweeted some rather insulting remarks about Britain.

    It just so happened earlier that year, Murdoch et al were in hot water with the British government and authorities in light of the ongoing phone hacking scandal, which forced Murdoch to shut down the U.K. tabloid News of the World. He said: "Maybe Brits have too many holidays for broke country," but then swiftly deleted it, leaving it there long enough for Google to catch it in its cache. 

    Still, at least some high-profile celebrities and public figures had a laugh at his expense, and it gave this blogger something to write about, considering the New Year news cycle is typically dead.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apple, Censorship, iOS, Security, Smartphones, Software Development, Olympics 2012

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