Tag: tweet

Paypal exec leaves after offensive tweeting

PayPal’s director of global strategy, Rakesh “Rocky” Agrawal, has left the company following a string of expletive-filled tweets, some of which were directed at fellow executives.

Agrawal has only been at the company since March and apparently posted the insulting tweets and pictures on Friday night while at a jazz festival in New Orleans.

Justice was swift and the next day PayPal announced Agrawal was “no longer with the company”.  It said that the company has a “zero tolerance policy,” but it is not immediately clear whether the executive had been fired or quit.

Agrawal said he had already resigned and given the company his two week notice before going onto Twitter. He later apologised for the inappropriate tweets and said they were intended to be direct messages, blaming the blunder on a new phone.

In the tweets, Agrawal said that PayPal’s vice president of global communications, Christina Smedley, was “useless middle manager”.

The tweets have since been deleted and he appears to have been tired and emotional at the time. However they were saved by Business Insider  which thought it was an important record of events.

Agrawal is yet another high profile manager who has fallen foul of the tendency to tweet without engaging a brain.

Email delivery service SendGrid fired its company evangelist last year after she tweeted a photo of a developer that resulted in him getting fired.

In December, IAC’s senior director of corporate communications was fired after an offensive tweet about a visit to South Africa. 

Sharks tweet to swimmers in Australia

Sharks in Western Australia are going to find themselves tweeting to swimmers that they are heading to shallow waters looking for a human sized snack.

The Department of Fisheries has introduced a new system, in which Jaws will announce their own presence via Twitter.

More shark attacks occur in Western Australia than almost anyplace else on Earth and the government is forced to spend a fortune on helicopter-based spotters and co-ordinating members of the public who report their own sightings.

Now the researchers have come up with the Shark Monitoring Network, the system uses acoustic tags that are attached to the fins of individual sharks, along with buoyed monitoring devices that pick up the signals transmitted by those tags. When a tagged shark swims within range of one of the monitors, its species, size and location is automatically recorded.

The data is transmitted via satellite to a computer, which immediately posts it on Twitter. It means that the shark’s location is instantly known.

So far, the system uses 19 satellite-linked monitors, that keep track of 338 tagged sharks – species include great whites, tigers and bulls. It does depend on the sharks being tagged in the first place, and swimmers checking twitter, but it is a start. It will not stop a determined shark eating someone it does not like either. Already Apple fanboys are warned from straying too close to the water. 

Tweet enters the English language

“Tweet”, “dad dancing” and “geekery” have officially entered the English language.

The latest version of the Oxford English Dictionary, has more than 1,200 new or revised words which show how much the language has changed over recent years.

The dictionary said it expanded its entries for “follow” (verb), “follower” (noun), and “tweet” (noun and verb) to include social media terms.

It is now correct to refer to “tweet” as a posting on the social notworking service Twitter as well as its more traditional meaning which is a brief high-pitched sound.

To get Tweet into the dictionary the editors had to break an Oxford Dictionary rule that a new word needs to be current for ten years before consideration for inclusion.

Also included are “Crowdsourcing”, “flash mob”, “geekery” and “dad dancing”.

Crowdsourcing is defined by the dictionary as the practice of obtaining information or services by soliciting input from a large number of people, typically via the internet and often without offering compensation.

A “flash mob” is a large group of people organised by means of the internet, or mobile phones or other wireless devices, who assemble in public to perform a prearranged action together and then quickly disperse.

Geekery, which originally meant “bizarre circus acts,” has come to mean obsessive devotion to or knowledge of a particular subject or pursuit and also the state of being a geek or “geekiness”.

“Fiscal cliff”, “e-reader” and “fracking” also make appearances.

“Dad dancing” is defined as an awkward, unfashionable, or unrestrained style of dancing to pop music, as characteristically performed by middle-aged or older men, the Oxford Dictionary claims. Which means I have been Dad dancing since I was 12. 

Teen arrested for critical Olympic tweet

A 17 year old boy has been arrested after he Tweeted some abuse to a British athlete for failing to pick up a medal.

According to the Guardian, a 17-year-old boy was arrested and bailed after Team GB diver Tom Daley retweeted his message telling him he had let down his dead father.

Dorset police said that the lad was arrested as part of an investigation into Twitter messages sent to Daley after he and team-mate Pete Waterfield missed out on a medal on Monday.

The kid has been bailed pending an investigation into other tweets he is supposed to have sent on his Twitter account.

Daley, 18, retweeted a message that said: “You let your dad down i hope you know that.” The diver retweeted: “After giving it my all … you get idiots sending me this …”

Daley’s father, Rob, died from cancer. 

Speaking before the Olympics, Daley told the BBC that winning a medal would make all the struggles that he has had worthwhile. He said that was doing it for himself and his dad. Tragically Daley is British and therefore doomed to failure.  If he had been American he would have won a gold and there would already be movie being made about him.

After the last tweet, others from the kid appeared to say sorry: “I’m sorry mate i just wanted you to win cause its the olympics I’m just annoyed we didn’t win I’m sorry tom accept my apology.”

But later another tweet to Daley read: “i’m going to find you and i’m going to drown you in the pool you cocky twat your a nobody people like you make me sick”.

When people objected, the kid apparently tweeted: “i dont give a shit bruv i’m gonna drown him and i’m gonna shoot you he failed why you suporting him you c**t.”

Whether it was responsible for Daley to direct the Twitter mob’s infamous groupthink hatred towards a child being stupid on the internet is another question, let alone getting the police involved.

Malaysian tweets 100 apologies for libel

A Malaysian man has promisted to apologise 100 times on Twitter for making a defamatory tweet.

Fahmi Fadzil, who describes himself as a performer and writer, whinged on the microblogging site that a pregnant friend had been poorly treated by her employer, a magazine by the inspiring name of Female Magazine owned by Blulnc Media.

He thought better of the tweet a few hours later and apologised to the company in another tweet – but, Asia One News reports, Blulnc wasn’t in a forgiving mood. It slapped him with a lawyer’s letter claiming damages.

Happily, though, the two managed to come to an agreement and settle things out of court. Now, Fadzil’s 4,200 followers are being treated to a series of tweets even more repetitive than those of most Twitter users. Starting today, he’s agreed to tweet his contrition 100 times over the next three days.

“I’ve DEFAMED Blu Inc Media and Female Magazine. My tweets on their HR policies are untrue. I retract those words and hereby apologise,” he says.

The decision might just get the British legal authorities out of a sticky situation if they care to take it as a precedent. With everybody tying themselves in legal knots over the legality of breaching super injunctions on Twitter, perhaps public apologies could be the answer.  Of course tweeting the entire country if a gagging order is broken might be a marathon.

Watchdog considers regulating journalist tweets

The British Press Complaints Commission is thinking of expanding its remit to include everything that a reporter puts on Twitter.

Its cunning plan is that if you do not like what a reporter tweets you can lodge a formal complain with the watchdog.

It would be the first time that the media watchdog had included any form of social media content under its jurisdiction.

Most hacks say that they are tweeting their own thoughts and not their employer’s. However, Iain Connor, a partner at media and entertainment specialist law firm Pinsent Masons, told the Telegraph that this was a weak argument.

He said that people only read a hack’s tweets because they are a journalist, and that’s probably the reason why the PCC is considering regulating them.

Connor thinks that the PCC is being proactive by considering the extension, to prevent wider regulation being bought in by the government.

The first job will be to separate a journalists’ public and private tweets.

Every newspaper’s official Twitter feeds will be fully regulated.

Each newspaper will be required to have a Twitter policy which will let every reporter know which accounts are considered to be part of its editorial output.

God help us if it gets to Facebook. It would mean that anything we write on our facebook pages that people don’t like could get us hauled before the PCC. 

"Accidental" tweet reveals Verizon HTC Thunderbolt out 17th March

Twitter continues to be either a source of planned leaks or a place where sales managers can well and truly put their foot in it.

Imran Shahid, HTC regional sales manager who looks after Venison sorry Verizon in the States, tweeted “Are you ready to call down the HTC ThunderBolt? The first 4GLTE Smartphone on the Verizon Wireless network is launching on March 17th! Yes!!”

It wasn’t long before the tweet was removed, according to BGR which managed to grab a screenshot. We guess there will be an official announcement soon: it’s been on the cards for a while.

The news follows Sony affiliated bloke Kevin Butler tweeting the PS3 root key amid a legal storm in a teacup

The more tinfoil hatted among us suggest that “accidentally” leaking stuff over Twitter is a clever tactic to generate publicity. Heck, we’ve been had. 

"Defamatory" tweeting befuddles newspaper

The Australian newspaper is umming and ahhing over whether it should sue someone over some tweets about its beloved Editor-in-Chief, Chris Mitchell.

Mitchell, said that he would sue journalism academic Julie Posetti over tweets where she quoted a former reporter for The Australian.

The former hack Asa Wahlquist was quoted as saying that Mitchell ordered topics like climate change to be covered in a particular way in the lead up to the election.

Posetti quoted Wahlquist who was speaking at a journalism conference in Sydney as saying that “in the lead up to the election the Ed in Chief was increasingly telling me what to write”.

Last week Mitchell fumed that the tweets were a lie and Wahlquist had denied saying the words in the tweets. It looked like Australia’s first tweet defamation case was all set to run.

However over the weekend it looks like the story is changing Wahlquist is now saying that the comments were been taken out of context.

In an article published on the Australian’s website on Tuesday, the paper admits that Posetti’s tweets were “a fair summary of what Wahlquist said”.

It still claims that the tweets were defamatory. A newspaper spokesman said that and Mitchell says that Posetti did not contact him to get his side of the story. Although if she was covering a public meeting we would not have thought she would have needed to do so, although it would have been polite.

Writing on her bog Posetti said her University has not received any communication from Mitchell and she has been asked not to comment further. 

We’re still not up for sale, Twitter co-founder says

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Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said today that even if the company was offered $4 billion or $5 billion, it’s still not ready to be sold.

Stone, reacting to a question from TechEye, said that there was still so much the company wanted to do, including proving that it had a viable financial and sales profile.

He said that although it was Twitter’s fiduciary duty to its shareholders to consider bids, it maintained that it was still not ready for such a move.

Stone, talking at a session at the Silicon Valley comes to Oxford event at the Said Business school, told the history of him and Twitter and he’s a guy with quite a sense of humour.

Did you know that if you’re a Twitter aficionado, it’s because you’re flocking like a flocking bird? That realisation, said Stone, made his hair stand on end. [Hair standing on end illustrated, below.]

Biz Stone, Twitter

Ten years ago, he started a company in NYC and the companies of he and the other co-founder of Twitter did similar things. Both companies got to a million users at the same time but had a mutual respect for each other. Evan’s company was bought by Google and he sent him a note and asked him if he wanted to go work for Google too. They both worked on Blogger and Evan decided to leave.  Then Stone left too.

Both created Odio for podcasting and that worked for about a year and then both realised they didn’t like podcasting, didn’t listen to them and didn’t want to make them.

He said they looked at their buddies and it gave them an interesting snapshot of what people were up to. He said they’d already looked at SMS and thought they could bring a global system like Twitter onto SMS. They decided to build a status building system and that’s how Twitter was born – it took two weeks to build a prototype. They showed it off to the rest of their colleagues who weren’t very impressed. The world at large thought it was a really stupid idea, he said. “We were ridiculed so much it actually helped us.”

Even in the protoype phase, Twitter was making him giggle and the important thing with Twitter is the emotional involvement. In the first nine months, no one said Twitter was useful, to which its co-founder Evan replied, neither is ice cream. “Does that mean we should ban ice cream?” Twitter was a blast.

In March 2007, South by South West in Austin triggered a great deal of interest in Twitter. About 75,000 people were using Twitter and this became the first time they’d seen it operating “in the wild”. In the middle of a panel a lot of people got up to leave and it turned out people were twittering to each other there was a much more interesting lecture going on in another hall.

When people tweeted that they were all going to another bar in Sixth Street, Austin, he said that the hair stood up on the back of his head, and he compares this to the mechanics of birds flocking.

While it looks complicated when birds do it, it’s rudimentary behaviour that allows people to behave as one organism. They formed Twitter Inc within two days of that realisation.

Twitter started to find its way into every aspect of life including earthquakes, fuel shortages, the Iranian elections and in 2009 there was a student organised revolt in Moldovia which was completely orchestrated on Twitter. He wanted to say, when journalists asked him what role Twitter had in the revolt to say “Well, I wasn’t happy with that regime”. Afterwards, he said, he looked up where Moldovia was on Wikipedia.

He realised, he said, that Twitter wasn’t going to be a triumph of technology but of humanity, because, he claims, people are basically good. The open exchange of information can have a positive social impact and Twitter has lowered that barrier to everybody.

It’s a real time network available to everyone with even the most rudimentary communications devices.

He said when he was a little kid, he was put into a programme called Boy Rangers, modelled after native American Indians and had to endure feats of strength, make their own wampum, and advance from papoose to warrior. The other kids called him Chief Owlbear.

He never learned soccer or played baseball. At high school he wanted to join a team but was intimidated by all the lines on the field. Lacrosse, he said, wasn’t supported by his high school so he assembled a bunch of kids and a coach and then won a lot of games. The lesson that taught him was that opportunities can be manufactured. You can create those circumstances yourself and step into them.

He took a job in the field of graphics design because it teaches you there are so many different creative answers to the one problems. Problems are more like puzzles to be solved creatively, and so work become a fun thing to do every day. Creativity, he said, is a totally renewable resource. After that he started working on the web.

Mistakes, said Stone, are how we learn and that’s universally recognised. Twitter loves it when people tell them they’ve had two failed businesses. Stone likes making mistakes, especially really publicly. Every time Twitter makes a really public mistake it shows the kind of integrity people have.

If you own up and say exactly what went wrong, that builds up goodwill and trust. Even though you’re making mistakes you’re giving them a peep into your soul.

He relishes absolutely screwing up.

“Make mistakes, enjoy them,” said Stone. He reckons to succeed spectacularly you have to be ready to fail spectacularly. If you don’t totally fail, you won’t get to where you want to get to. You can’t do things that safely in the real world.

In the hour he spent with all employees they went through seven assumptions. Assumption 1 is that we can change the world, build a business and have fun. That’s the definition of success for Twitter. Assumption 2 is that we don’t always know what’s going to happen. Assumption 3 is that there’s a creative answer to every problem. And that can be wacky. Assumption 4 is that there are more smart people outside Twitter than inside. A company should look to the outside world and get out there and talk to people. Assumption 5 is that if Twitter does the right thing by its users it will always win. Assumption 6 is that the only deal worth doing is when both parties win.  The last assumption is that people you work with are smart and have good intentions. Has Biz ever been to  Varanasi? They have 10 qualities there.

It’s easy to get paranoid about Phil over in marketing and it’s not fair. Don’t assume Phil is a smartass first. [Who is Phil? Ed.]

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Twitter Joke Trial appeal rejected

The appeal of the aptly named Twitter Joke Trial has been denied, forcing the 26-year-old Paul Chambers to pay out the £1,000 fine and extra penalties after he made a twitter joke about blowing up an airport.

The Judge said she did not believe that Chambers was unaware of the consequences of what was an “obviously menacing” message. She said anyone living the present climate of terrorist threats could not be unaware of the consequences of such a message, according to Martin Wainwright of The Guardian.

The Judge called Chambers “an unimpressive witness” and increased the legal costs involved by £2,000 to £2,600, making the total fine £3,000, triple that of before the appeal. 

Many people on Twitter were hoping that Chambers would win his appeal against what is considered an overly harsh sentence for what was ultimately a joke, but it appears that fears over terrorism means we must all be wary about what we tweet.

He was due to fly out to Ireland, but his flight was threatened due to extreme weather conditions. Like any angry customer would do, he tweeted his frustration, but chose an unfortunate string of words to use:

“Crap! Robin Hood Airport is closed. You’ve got a week… otherwise I’m blowing the airport sky high!”

The actual fine itself is £385, with a £15 surcharge, but legal costs have amounted to £600, now £2,600. That’s a whole lot of money for venting flight frustration online.

The case has far-reaching repercussions for the rest of Twitter’s users and opens up new ground for what can be considered a public network. @TMT_Lawyer tweeted: “In case you’ve not noticed, by saying Twitter is public network, #TwitterJokeTrial says ANY publicly accessible system within s127 CA 2003.”

Alex Deane, of watchdog Big Brother Watch, tells TechEye: “This judgement lacks all common sense. Someone joking about terrorism on Twitter might be an idiot but he’s clearly not a terrorist, and treating him like one undermines faith in the law. It’s a wildly over the top, authoritarian response to the current situation.

“This absurd judgement is enough to make me want to blow up Robin Hood airport.