Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tweet Terror

Originally, this post was going to be an indignant defense of twitter, inspired by this quote:

"Twitter has also become a social activism tool for socialists, human rights groups, communists, vegetarians, anarchists, religious communities, atheists, political enthusiasts, hacktivists and others to communicate with each other and to send messages to broader audiences,... Twitter is already used by some members to post and/or support extremist ideologies and perspectives," the report said.

And I think a bit of indignity is warranted - since when are Vegetarians a threat? They are like the opposite of a threat. And what the hell is "political enthusiasts" a euphemism for? This election, I think that term more or less just means people.

But I don't really need to continue my rant. According to Wired, blogging is dead and twitter is the new social medium. The fastest way to make criminalize of something less scary is to make it ubiquitous and prove it to be harmless. Sure, it means that when the gestapo finds us at night that they have an additional charge against us, but it also means that data pool being mined is clogged to the point of uselessness. When security has to look at an over-abundance of data, two options are possible. The first is that they arrest everyone vaguely suspicious, and have to deal with processing a tremendous excess of indignant innocents. That's bad political capital, and leads to outrage and change. The other option is to realize that twitter is a useless place to be looking for terrorists, even if it is a tool they actually use, because the number of false positives renders it obsolete for security purposes.

You can find me on twitter here. Let's clog the tubes!


Christine Robinson said...

Well, personally, I hope you keep blogging, because I like your longer though pieces.

I'm planning to do the same

Kelsey Atherton said...


No worries. I don't think blogging is as obsolete as Wired puts it, especially not in smaller communities (the Albuquerque blogosphere, the UU blogosphere). For all it's fun and hyper-relevance, twitter can't do what blogging can, so it's not replacing anything.