Twitter vs twitter: Can we discuss the new Twitter policy using twitter?

Posted on February 2, 2012 by

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Twitter has introduced a new policy allowing the possibility of filtering tweets at the request of local governments. This major departure in policy has triggered an avalanche of tweet-style protests.

‘It is a supercomplex issue’, complained Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo in a recent  interview. He continued:  ‘When the news came out, people tried to distil it down to ‘What did they just say?’ It’s easy to distil it down to ‘Twitter is endorsing XYZ.’ He pleads for time and for academics to study it properly. According to Costolo, this will justify the evaluation that the new Twitter policy is forward-looking. For the CEO of a company that has promoted prompt, knee-jerk responses, the plea for well-thought out and inclusive responses sounds contradictory. Is it? Is the genie out of the bottle (Twitter-style communication)?

This reaction contributes to Diplo’s recent debate on the potential and limits of Twitter communication:  (Aldo: The medium is the twitter, Jovan: Twitter is ONLY the medium (response to Aldo’s post), Aldo: The medium is the twitter – redux, Pete: Canute, Plato, Theuth and Twitter.

What is your view? Is Twitter just another communication megaphone (dissemination)? Have you discovered any alternative way of using Twitter (as Jovan did with conference reporting)?

Can we actually converse meaningfully on Twitter? Do you have examples? What are the limits of using Twitter in diplomacy? Contrary to the view of Twitter’s CEO, can we discuss this ‘supercomplex’ issue on Twitter?