Gone are the days when things were simple and normal, when men were discovered cheating by their wives either directly or through a private investigators. Oh the good old days!
Then we emerged into a new era of the cable television, where President Bill Clinton was discovered with his pants around his ankles and the whole world knew about Monica Lewisnky in a matter of days.
Now a new era has dawned where politicians have found a new platform to do mischief, TWITTER! And it takes less than 24 hours to find the scoop.
Those of us who use the twitter service we are quite clearly aware of how this amazing social network site works. Twitter users can follow those whom they like without even requiring permission.
This was a break from the traditional two-way agreement that ruled communications in previous social systems. This changed Twitter from an asynchronous instant messaging system into a hybrid of a social network and broadcast medium.
But Twitter was much more intimate than blogs. Following someone on Twitter was not exactly like setting up a blog feed or subscribing to a magazine. You became part of a visible community.
It becomes a problem when someone wants to have a truly private conversation, as with SMS or email. So Twitter decided that for ?direct? messages there should be some limits.
Direct, private messages could only be sent to someone who followed you. The fact that you followed someone meant that you’d probably be happy to hear from him or her. To have a back-and-forth conversation, then, both parties would have to be following each other.
The service has never really figured a way to foolproof the process. It is a rare Twitter user — even an experienced one — who has not mistakenly sent something intended as a direct message out into the public Twittersphere.
Happens all the time.
Well Twitter is used by all and practically everyone. I personally know a six year old boy and also a 75 year old grandma on Twitter. And they LOVE it!
I guess many are not aware of the social responsibilities that a social network like Twitter had or may be they overlooked it.
Twitter, like the telephone, is only as good or bad as the uses to which it is put, the spontaneous atmosphere of intimacy it creates is more compelling than a common carrier.
Well Twitter may be many things for many people, but for poor Anthony Weiner it became a headache to a nightmare.
The Modern Casanova at work
This is how Weiner worked his ?magic?.
First a woman would tweet an encouraging public message to the legislator, which is PUBLIC, only way she can get in touch with him. (By and large, since the women were political supporters and not thinking of themselves as material for his sexual fantasies, this wasn’t a problem for them.)
Then Mr. Casanova i.e. Weiner would respond to them — but his responses were constrained by the knowledge that his replies were public.
The women were publicly listed among those accounts he followed. Since he only followed around 200 people, these new followers seemed out of place among the politicians, journalists, and celebrities on his list.
So he needed a more private channel of communication for flirtations up to and including picture of his ?package? (what was he thinking?) Since the women followed him already, he could send them direct messages. But to receive their replies, he had to follow them in return. Only then could he engage in flirting or sexual repartee.
Not sure if Weiner knew who he was adding, for he had added a porn star to his list. This made him sitting duck for a political foe. And that is exactly what happened. A right-wing activist noticed Weiner’s pattern and then harassed the young women the congressman followed.
Did this deter the Casanova, certainly not!
Weiner did not curtail his behavior. He simply unfollowed those women and found new ones to flirt with. His Twitter use was a train wreck waiting to happen.
Then BOOM! The train wreck occurred. The Twitter’s founders never truly fixed: the inadequately drawn distinction between a public message and a direct one.
When Weiner decided to send a young woman a picture of his ?package? — wearing gray boxers that barely contained his tumescence — he had already taken the step of following her. But he made a common mistake between a direct private message and a public reply, and sent the picture out to the tens of thousands of people who followed him.
That?s how the modern day Casanova was found! Not by his wife, but by the world. The wife had no clue,
Poor Weiner thought that he could cover up this debacle with a lie and play the blame game, typical politician.
He sent an immediate false Tweet saying that his Twitter account has been hacked after he mistakenly Tweeted his manhood, er ?pose? for the benefit of a woman not his wife.
But the evidence of his deeper misbehavior was already out in the open: the thumbnails of the young women he followed, publicly available on his Twitter account.
Politicians shied away a bit from Twitter spontaneity after the Weiner scandal. That?s a mistake. Social media is dissolving the distance between us, and even though some people won?t be able to handle this new sort of closeness right away, the best best among us will. And governance is one of the ripest areas for the kind of organic improvement social media can cultivate, since it tends to increase the accountability of elected officials.
The media, political rival and right wing nutcrackers had no problem fining multiple women who were charmed by the Casanova and even who received more graphic photos via ?private? Twitter messages.
The truth came out, the women talked and Weiner?s original “I was hacked” story went up in smoke..
Weiner was caught in the social net, undone by a bunch of conversations several years earlier between some San Francisco geeks trying to figure out the settings of a cool new product.
The details of web product design had led to the pants being pulled down on a promising political career