In response to news regarding a change in Twitter policy…
Link to news (here)
I believe that tweeters should have the right to:
Follow whoever we want
Follow whenever we want
Unfollow whoever we want
Unfollow whenever we want
Block whoever we want
And use whatever means are at our disposal.
I understand that Twitter has an economic interest in all this because of the server horsepower and infrastructure issues required; maybe they should charge accounts that have over a certain number of followers; but as far as I’m concerned, Twitter taking the right to control my behavior or judge what may or may not constitute “legitimate” behavior on the users’ part is totalitarian and invasive.
The follower ratio system seems like a necessary evil to prevent out-of-control follow-spamming, but it’s still a sledghammer when a scalpel is needed… With some imagination and some filtering, Twitter could detect patterns indicative of follow-spamming. If follower lists have certain properties, like keyword commonality, they should be allowed to grow unregulated.
Who is Twitter, or anybody else, for that matter, to judge the “legtimacy” of our follower list based solely on follow/unfollow patterns? And then to reserve the right to suspend accounts without warning or prior notice? That’s unreasonable search and seizure, without due process! It oughtta be illegal!!
I think that even Twitter doesn’t “get” Twitter, what it makes possible, how it can work for people. As a person with an interest, and a contribution to make, in several different areas of interest, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to use a software application to search profile bios for people in my field and areas of related expertise, and to be able to find them without hours and hours of manual searching. I would like to hear what they all have to say, but Twitter’s rules prevent me from following them.
In order to be able to add all the people I want to hear from, I need to unfollow those people who don’t follow me back – not from my own rudeness, but only to be able to circumvent Twitter’s artificial “balance” requirements as manifested by their ratio regulations… it’s Twitter’s policies that create the necessity to cull my follower list.
Twitter created the very conditions for which they are now planning to penalize users!
— Jon Burr