Twitter #fixreplies and “intelligent” networks

May 20, 2009
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A few weeks ago, I said “Twitter is a “Stupid Network” (the good kind)”. It turns out I was wrong.

Twitter created the #fixreplies problem (see here and here) for themselves when they decided to treat these tweets specially from the start, breaking the end-to-end principle.

These are tweets by people I follow – they are public tweets, not direct messages. They are in the public timeline. If I follow that person, they should be in my timeline like any other tweet from that person (whose tweets I follow), regardless of the content of that message.

I follow this person.  That means I follow what they say, the updates they post. If Twitter never treated a post that starts with @ special in the first place, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.  In that case, if I wanted to filter such tweets, I could do that in my client, at the “edge”.

Now Twitter has pulled those tweets out and so I can’t “filter” them – I have to go looking for them.

This is the kind of mess you get yourself in when you go around breaking the end-to-end principle all will-nilly.

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