I have reconsidered my position WordPress and Twitter after going back through Douglas Rushkoff’s manifesto on proper application of media trust in digital spaces, “Program or be Programmed”. My reasoning rests more or less on both companies’s involvement with gnip.com. Now, to be fair, Twitter purchased gnip.com back in 2014, so they own that company and its functionality. This does not, however, remove Twitter Incorporated from utilizing said functionality. WordPress’s involvement with gnip.com came to me as more of a surprise. I was poking about Twitter business pages and came across this page. As I drilled down a few links, I began to read this page as well.
Ultimately, my biggest concern with gnip is its ability to scan and scour gargantuan amounts of data from users of services in bed with this company. WordPress and Twitter are apparently wife and sidepiece. I couple this bit of corporate digital mating with Twitter’s stance on its users financing its company as opposed to manipulating ad campaigns around data gleaned from its users.
With Twitter’s Data Blog boasting about “Showing the world the unlimited potential of Twitter Data” by posting ledes such as “The Audience API from Gnip helps you instantly understand the audience behind any topic, any conversation, any influencer, or any event on Twitter”, this is arrogant and embarrassing misuse of user’s trust.
Twitter’s creepiness is apparently infectious. WordPress bundled their core with an API that allows gnip.com to parse and serve post data from any WordPress blog. Gnip brags about its ability to rummage through WordPress(it looks like both .com and .org blogs) posts, post comments, likes, and unlikes. This is a disgusting misappropriation of data that feels like some perverted wino watching little girls undress and selling their images online. This level of creep is comparable to sandbox snatchers watching your children’s daily habits to find out which flavor of Charm’s they favor most.