What are You Doing? Twitter is Really Stupid

BJMendelson Just got in to Santa Montica, have to do some paperwork and then if I’m feeling brave, walk over and get some photos of the ocean

This tweet came to me over the cell phone today.  I have no idea who BJMendelson is and never requested to follow his Twitter.  I set my the Twitter account so that I have to specifically request to follow people, but the cell phone’s text message In Box fills up every night with tweets from people I never knew existed.  Except for Wil Wheaton – I know who he is.

I have never held the concept of Twitter in any esteem.  There is not a single person on this planet that I want to know moment to moment details of.  My kids are all adults now, and some things they do are frankly none of my business.

And Dearest Heart, if you are reading this, do not take umbrage.  You know that the feeling is reciprocal.  If you knew what I was doing 24/7, you’d start to wonder why you ever married such a boring person.

I changed my mind about getting a Twitter account when a few of us at Fearless Fitness had the idea of creating an extended support group for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  The idea was that we would all get Twitter accounts, and we would follow each other.  That way, if one of us had an idea for a healthy recipe, or if we needed help staying away from the mid-afternoon munches, we could send a text message, and our compatriots would all get it.

I thought, Okay, this is a good use of Twitter. But I didn’t want the entire world to know when I was struggling with my diet, so I set it up so that only people that I approve could follow me.

So much for good ideas.   I didn’t have that account for five minutes before I had 21 people following me.  TWENTY-ONE!  I had approved NONE of them.  And shortly after that, I found that I was following 18 unknown people and one Wil Wheaton.  I blocked them all, I unfollowed them all.  To no avail.  They were back the very next day.

Some are obviously commercial accounts, and some are selling the World’s Oldest Profession.  Some are news outlets.

So, either A: Some people have been able to hack into the system at Twitter and force their tweets upon innocent people, and thus artificially inflating their following, or B: Some people pay for premium accounts that can’t be blocked.

I should mention that I disliked with a passion Wil Wheaton’s character Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  But I was always able to keep Wil and Wesley, the actor and the character, separate in my mind, and assumed that the actor was a nice enough guy who did the best he could with a character that the creative staff of Star Trek really messed up.

But if Mr. Wheaton has used either A or B mentioned above, then he’s worse than the character.

And users cannot even complain to Twitter about this.  The best you can do is post to a User Forum and hope that somebody else has found the solution.

So I cancelled the Twitter account, and my estimation of them has plummeted even further.


One Response

  1. Hey Lune,

    Back when I was on the Twitter Suggested User List (between February 2009 and August of 2009), a lot of people wound up following me either unwittingly (more on that in a second) or because of a glitch in Twitter’s system.

    In a lot of cases, the old Suggested User List had a check box where new people signing up for Twitter would click, and it’d follow everyone on that list without people really taking a hard look at who they were following.

    I found more often than not though, it was due to a glitch that a lot of people were getting my Twitter updates without actually following me. Twitter’s system (at the time) was not very good.

    So, you’re absolutely right to point this out. You shouldn’t have been receiving my Tweets. Seeing as how I found this post two years later though, and Twitter has done quite a bit to stabilize they’re system, it’s no longer an issue, but I thought I should let you know why you were receiving my Tweets.

    I’d be upset and annoyed too if I were getting messages from strangers on my cell phone.

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