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 helps to spread the word amid Hurricane Sandy

    The good: Sandy was the worst storm to hit the Eastern Seaboard in living memory. Thanks to Twitter and Facebook and citizen journalism, along with the regular news agencies taking advantage of social platforms, it became clear very quickly which areas would be worst hit by the super storm.

    Quickly, #hurricanesandy, #sandy and #frankenstorm trended worldwide amid the rumors and false information, which was immediately debunked, including the bevy of fake photographs -- such as the Photoshopped shot of the Statue of Liberty. All in all, more than 1.62 million tweets were recorded during a 21-hour period.

  • Twitter renews privacy fight in Occupy Wall Street subpoena

    The good: The Occupy movement remains strong across the United States, particularly in New York. But as police continue to dig for users' data from the microblogging firm, Twitter renewed its defense against a protester accused of disorderly conduct during a protest in October 2011.

    Prosecutors want Twitter to turn any information over, including tweets and email addresses, but the San Francisco, Calif.-based firm remains strong in fighting the subpoena.

    It comes as major technology firms, including Twitter, Google,, Apple and Facebook press for changes to federal privacy laws to reflect the changes in the cloud computing era, despite struggling to make any significant changes as of yet.

  • Olympic breaks records, Twitter smashes some too

    The good: The 2012 London Olympics saw record after record, not just on the track but in terms of the sheer number of tweets during the two week event. During the Olympics opening ceremony, not only did we see HM the Queen 'jump' out of a helicopter after her debut dramatic real-life cameo with Daniel Craig as 'James Bond,' the three hour firework spectacular saw 9.66 million mentions of the ceremony.

    Twitter began recording the volume of tweets between 8.00 p.m. BST through to the end of the delayed U.S. broadcast, more than three hours later, which in turn stirred controversy in itself. The microblogging firm didn't reveal which tweet or trending topic provoked the highest spike in traffic, Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee's "this is for everyone" tweet was retweeted more than 10,000 times in just a few hours after he was mentioned during the ceremony.

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

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