updated 08:13 pm EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
Tweet-amplifier probably too close to spam
Thunderclap, a third-party Twitter app enabling large groups of users to simultaneously tweet the same message, has been shut down by Twitter after just two days of operation. The tweet-amplifier managed to get just two Thunderclaps sent out before being shut down. Sources at Thunderclap have revealed to Betabeat that Twitter nixed the service, alleging that it violated Twitter's terms of service.
In its two days of operation, Thunderclap organized two politically-oriented mass tweets. The first was a tweet from columnist Matt Taibbi, which was replicated by almost 2,000 people. The second Thunderclap, which called for Congress to publish government data in bulk, was tweeted by 128 people. Soon after that, the founders of Thunderclap received notification that their OAuth token had been suspended.
The founders received an automated reply alerting them that Thunderclap violated Twitter's terms of service by sending multiple @mentions and automating sending tweets. The Thunderclap team is still trying to resolve the issue with Twitter, as the service was preparing for a major publicity push and had attracted the attention of a number of celebrities. Thunderclap had also drawn the notice of multiple political players, including the White House, according to its founders.
For now, it appears that Thunderclap will remain a casualty of Twitter's anti-spam policies. The website for the service is greyed out, and features a notice from the Thunderclap team that they are working to contact Twitter to work out the issue.
As Twitter has grown in popularity, the service has continually increased its efforts to eliminate spam, including recently purchasing a web security firm, and even taking spammers to court.
We're having some technical issues with Twitter. Should be back up shortly. Got a question or want to start a thndrclp? firstname.lastname@example.org-- Thunderclap (@ThunderclapIt) June 7, 2012