Frankly, I sort of hope that Twitter DOESN'T further define their
nebulous rules.  Why?  Because when they do, the axe often falls on
legitimate app developers (rather than abusive users or problem apps)
in really short-sighted ways.  Moreover, their rules are usually
blanket pronouncements without regard for important business cases for
certain features.

For example, Twitter used to say that follower "churn" was against
their rules.  Okay, that's certainly fair and fine.  But now they've
recently changed their rules page (in mid-November, to be exact) to
outright ban ALL automated following, except -- bizarrely -- follow-

This is really silly.  It kills an entire functionality space for all
apps simply because some uses of it are abusive.

For example, auto-follow is a hallmark feature of Google Buzz.  It was
loudly included in all press mentions of this product.  Namely, in
that app, you auto-follow anyone you frequently email with.  (Google
has apparently curtailed this feature due to privacy concerns.)  So
what about a similar Twitter app that offers this perfectly reasonable
feature -- namely, auto-follow anyone that you @tweet more than, say,
10 times.  Will that be banned?  Apparently.  (And there goes the
whole CRM market with it!)  Or what about an app that unfollows anyone
who tweets spam or swear words?  Nope, such an app is apparently

Twitter should err on the side of allowing developers the freedom to
build great apps.  This should mean hand-holding even the smallest app
(not just the biggies).  But, more than that, it should mean offering
flexibility and good faith when it comes to deciding what's an
appropriate use of the Twitter API.  Blanket, mid-stream, and
developer-focused restrictions are non-constructive, unfair, and will
stifle innovation.

Many of us support our families with Twitter development; and it is
cavalier and bruising to know that developers are apparently not
offered at least some level of back-and-forth communication, good
faith, and case-by-case leeway when their apps are examined in
relation to Twitter rules.

On Feb 15, 3:36 pm, Dewald Pretorius <> wrote:
> I apologize for my choice of words.
> Now, can we get back to discussing Twitter using OAuth as a mechanism
> to heavy-handedly suspend applications as witnessed by the two recent
> cases we know of, while measuring the guilt of the application against
> nebulous rules that nobody knows exactly what they mean?
> Please.
> On Feb 15, 7:17 pm, Cameron Kaiser <> wrote:
> > > Oh for crying out loud, is everyone now going to stare themselves
> > > blind at the phrase "Gestapo-like" and forget about the issue at hand?
> > > It is meant to portray a one-sided action where the accused party is
> > > not afforded a voice, or his/her objections, rationale, or
> > > explanations are ignored.
> > Then say that instead of throwing bombs. Don't tell me you used the term
> > in order to provoke absolutely *no* reaction at all.
> > --
> > ------------------------------------ 
> > personal:
> >   Cameron Kaiser * Floodgap Systems **
> > -- This manual has been carefully for errors to make sure correct. -- 
> > classiccmp

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