The Trouble with Twitter

I don't like Twitter. Here's why.

The 140 character limit encourages the use of URL-shortening services such as Bitly.

The problem with such services is firstly, that you can't see what website you're being redirected to - it could be the BBC, or Goatse, or a site infested with malware and viruses. There's no way of knowing - hovering over the link tells you nothing, unlike normal links.

Secondly, the way the URL-shortening service works means that anyone who clicks a shortened link is briefly passed through the shortening services' webservers, meaning they can track everything you click. At best, they'll keep that data to themselves. A slightly worse scenario might be that they make that tracking data public. Just like Bitly does.

The worst case scenario is they use a combination of tracking data, cookies and information gathered from other sources, such as advertising, to build a profile of the people you know or follow on Twitter and what things interest you, and then sell that data to the highest bidder.

It would have taken 9 tweets to explain this simple point. That's another thing I don't like about Twitter.