O the world of social media. When will people learn to Google the meaning of the word social? Sure there’s that thing down South where they dance in circles and eat pie and reminisce about the good old days when you could shoot somebody just for bein’ in the wrong part of town after sunset. But I mean:
1 : involving allies or confederates <the Social War between the Athenians and their allies>
2 a : marked by or passed in pleasant companionship with one’s friends or associates <leads a very full social life> <spent a relaxed social evening> : taken, enjoyed, or engaged in with friends or for the sake of companionship <social drinking> <a social game of bridge> b : SOCIABLE <difficult for him, although fundamentally a social character, to take any great pleasure in the company — Osbert Lancaster> <having to drive home, and not feeling very social, I drank very little — Nigel Balchin> c : composed of sociable persons or formed for the purpose of sociability <a purely social club> d : of, relating to, or designed for sociability or sociable gatherings <the social director of the hotel> <the church has a large social hall>
3 a : forming or having a tendency to form cooperative and interdependent relationships with one’s fellows : GREGARIOUS <man is a social creature … one of the aims of education, therefore, is to teach man how to adjust himself to community living — M.B.Smith> b : living together and breeding in more or less organized communities
So here’s a bit of advice. If you’re going to cause a ruckus or throw a rock or tie yourself to something or demand that people give you money so you can sleep out in the rain and poop in a Whole Foods bag, you might want to do a better job of disguising your identity. One way is to stop announcing your intentions over social media.
But that’s just me:
Twitter on Friday reluctantly complied with a judge’s order to divulge the tweets and account information connected to an Occupy protester.
The case concerns Malcolm Harris, who was among hundreds arrested last October for disorderly conduct in an Occupy movement march along the Brooklyn Bridge.
Prosecutors sought tweets made by Harris’ account “to refute the defendant’s anticipated defense, that the police either led or escorted the defendant into stepping onto the roadway of the Brooklyn Bridge.”
The case was being closely watched as the authorities increasingly monitor and move to access material posted on social networks. The development comes two months after the micro-blogging site reported that, for the first six months of the year, the authorities sought information on Twitter user accounts 679 times, and Twitter produced some or all of the information 75 percent of the time.
Prosecutors sought Harris’ Twitter information using a subpoena, which allows authorities to obtain data without a warrant.
The social media giant filed an appeal in late August asking the New York appeals court to reconsider Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Matthew A. Sciarrino’s earlier rulings ordering it to give state authorities tweets and account information on two Twitter accounts used by Harris. Sciarrino denied Twitter’s request to stay the order until the appeals court ruled on it.
The judge demanded Twitter release the data or hand over its confidential earnings statements from the last two quarters so he could determine how much of a fine to levy against the company. Twitter, which keeps such financial data secret, had until Friday to produce the data.
I love that last bit: hand over its confidential earnings statement from the last two quarters. I think we have found the Achilles heel of, say, Facebook and Google and, of course, Elftown. Nothing succeeds in wringing principles out of principals in a court battle than tugging at their pocketbooks.
As the old saw goes: “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them … well, I have others” (Groucho Marx).