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Twitter cuts off two fat client apps

Thou shalt not take the Twitter name in vain

Application security programs and practises

Twitter cut off two of its biggest client apps on Friday, only reconnecting them on Sunday after they had implemented unspecified changes to their code.

UberTwitter and Twidroyd, both published by UberMedia, got cut off on Friday for violating Twitter policies with regard to respecting the privacy of users' messages, using the Twitter name in vain, and modifying users' postings to insert their own advertising with the intention of making money from the always valuable too-lazy-to-blog demographic.

UberMedia was quick to respond that it had made the "very small" changes requested by Twitter, which include changing the name of "UberTwitter" to "UberSocial" and, presumably, stopping the modification of messages as they passed through the client.

The privacy concerns relate to direct messages sent from twit to twit. Even then it was only with messages over 140 characters where privacy problems apparently arose. 140 characters is the maximum length of a tweet, thanks to Twitter's text-messaging roots, but that can be extended through various mechanisms often built into client software.

UberMedia also owns TweetDeck, but that acquisition was only completed a couple of weeks ago and it appears the company hasn't had time to make TweetDeck violate Twitter's T&C, so TweetDeck users remained connected over the weekend. We'd be unsurprised to TweetDeck change its name pretty soon, but other than that it seems OK.

Twitter is wise to slap UberMedia down early; the company already claims that one in five tweets is delivered through its software. That software could easily offer access to a competing service, integrated to ensure a smooth transition, if UberMedia decided someone else was offering it a better deal. ®

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

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