Thursday, May 17, 2012

Twitter's 'slippery slope' isn't one

Twitter announced today that it would improve its Who To Follow algorithm using data collected from the embedded follow and share buttons around the Web. The bottom of this site has it.

Dustin Curtis, an apparently common critic of Twitter, lashed out today at the new feature, calling it a "slippery slope."

He asks:

Can any Twitter employee who has production database access look at Mitt Romney's browsing history? Can they look at your browsing history?

Lots of tinfoil hat, bat-shit insane talk right there. What annoys me to no end is that Curtis omits an important part of this story.

From the same post he links:

As the Federal Trade Commission’s CTO, Ed Felten, mentioned earlier today, we support Do Not Track (DNT), which is reflected in our privacy policy as one of the ways you can indicate your preference.

Every major browser supports Do Not Track, be it via a browser extension or, as shown here in Safari (Update: In Mountain Lion only), in the browser's settings:

dropbox

Update: It's even simpler than I thought; if you still want to be tracked on other websites for some reason, Twitter's settings page has the ability to shut it off:

twitter settings

It's one thing to take a stance, that's what a good blogger does, but it's another to willfully omit facts.