Bad Ideas

WikiLeaks Seems to Think Attacks on U.S. Embassies Are All About Them


With an ill-advised tweet posted Wednesday, WikiLeaks may have won the tacky self-interest sweepstakes. The tweet, which was quickly deleted, suggested a deadly attack aimed at the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was justified by Julian Assange’s refugee status inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The Guardian assumed the tweet was written by Mr. Assange. Whoever posted the statement, they clearly weren’t looking much further than their own navel, writing: Read More

Twitter Trouble

Just What You Never Wanted: A Weekly Newsletter of Tweets


Twitter is, by nature, a swiftly flowing torrent of information. You can step away for lunch and miss everything from major national breaking news to weird, niche culture stories to–yes–what your high school boyfriend had for breakfast. It’s just part of how the platform works–you have to learn to be okay with missing some stories, and obsessively Storify-ing others.

Well, not anymore. Twitter announced on its company blog today that it will be sending out a weekly email of tweets. Read More

Legal Eagles

Twitter Apparently Not Handing Over Jack Without A Search Warrant

(Photo: Scott Beale, Laughing Squid)

When last we checked in with the legal struggle over Occupy Wall Street and Twitter accounts, it didn’t look great for anyone looking to keep their DMs out of court. At issue: The state wants data associated with a protestor charged with disorderly conduct. A judge ruled the defense can’t fight a subpoena, because–as the legal thinking went–the information on Twitter belongs to the company, not to the individual user. And Twitter’s policies seem to suggest they’ll hand material over in the event of a subpoena.

But it appears it won’t be quite that simple for the DA’s office. Rather than complying with the order, Twitter just filed a motion to quash it.

We reached out to Twitter for comment and received a statement from Legal Counsel Ben Lee: “As we said in our brief, “Twitter’s Terms of Service make absolutely clear that its users *own* their content.” Our filing with the court reaffirms our steadfast commitment to defending those rights for our users.” Read More


Let’s Monetize! How LocalResponse Turns Social Media Emphemera Into Mobile Ad Inventory

Nihal Mehta

Betabeat is pretty sick of “big data” as a buzzword, but the amount of personal information that consumers are throwing up on the web is staggering. Facebook has had some success advertising against this information, Twitter less so.

LocalResponse was born out of the ashes of Buzzd, a city guide that mashed up Foursquare and Twitter to help users find local hotspots. Founder Nihal Mehta learned a valuable lesson in defeat, and this week raised a $5 million round from new investors Cava Capital, Vodafone Ventures, Advancit Capital and Progress Ventures, along with its existing investors

Buzzd was a consumer facing platform, but failed to attract enough users. LocalResponse, by contrast, take the massive amount of public data being shared on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare, and turns that into ad inventory. Read More