EDWARD SNOWDEN HAS SUFFERED FROM HIS OWN SUCCESS at joining Twitter and has been whacked with a massive data load of notifications.
Poor Snowden can't catch a break. He tried to do the world a privacy favour and now lives in exile in Russia under the weight of the angry opposition of much of the US and its government. Joining Twitter should have been a nice thing for him, and he was relatively positively embraced on the social network.
Too much so. The security guy, who was good enough to work for the NSA, apparently fluffed his joining and some of the related account settings.
We assume that he checked and doubled checked the security and privacy settings, but he may not have applied the same attention to his notification settings.
I forgot to turn off notifications. Twitter sent me an email for each: Follow Favorite Retweet DM 47 gigs of notifications. #lessonlearned— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) October 1, 2015
Snowden, who pulled in around one million followers in not much time at all, soon found that he was overwhelmed by the attention and returned to Twitter to complain.
His complaint was that all this attention had loaded him with some 45GB of notifications, which might show on his communications bills, particularly the part that concerns data.
Snowden joined Twitter to an immediate huge following. The whistleblower comes with the official blue tick of Twitter certification and has already seen the account pick up almost one million followers.
Snowden has started on Twitter in a low-key manner - no selfies so far - and has limited his posts to the informational, inspirational, jokey kind of thing. He's caught up with recent ally Neil deGrasse Tyson for some more space chat, and reminded people that liberty is a good thing.
Snowden's bio says that he used to work for the NSA but that he now serves the public, and as a director at @FreedomofPress. He follows one other Twitter account, not the outfit at which he is a director, but the NSA. We suspect it follows him back, but we have asked Snowden to confirm this anyway.
Meanwhile, a thousand people at Fort Meade just opened Twitter.— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 29, 2015
There are some 953,000 accounts hanging on the Snowden Twitter, and unfortunately, we do not have time to go through all of them. From what we can see the list is a who's who of civil liberties people, and the first page includes characters from the American Civil Liberties Union through to Kim Dotcom, and Kim Dotcom's lawyer.
Graham Cluley is there, as are the good burghers of Liberty and the Electronic Privacy Information Centre, and Jimmy Wales and Julia O'Dwyer, Richard O'Dwyer's mum.
We expect that the Snowden feed will be low on photos of lunches, talk about BAEs, gourd-spiced coffees and cat and arse selfies, but we reckon that it is probably one worth following, particularly if you like to be kept in the light about privacy and surveillance, and maybe Martians.
Twitter can do strange things to people, though, and it is possible that within a few weeks the account will be engaged in full-on cyber beef with One Direction, or Blackberry fans, and that many of the tweets will feature links to soundcloud and the ‘soundscapes' that he has started to produce at home on a keyboard. µ
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