Twitter and the examples of its “bad use”

The main result of Twitter “bad use” during Iranian election was the establishing of new, opposition media on the base of microblogging service.

Organization of protest groups using Twitter is popular in developed countries also. For example, thousands of Americans took part in the twitter campaign against President Barack Obama health insurance reform proposal. This proposal was the object of hot debates in all media and social networks; however the activity in Twitter was so emotional and organized that it could be compared with war. Even some famous politicians took part in this campaign, for example, PM of the United Kingdom Gordon Brown. So, motivation was to discuss the changes in the country; the method was discussion in microblog service, and the consequence was the attention of officials to this discussion.

The infamous project Wikileaks, which spreads scandalous information about the events and people, also has its account on Twitter. Wikileaks use of Twitter is usual; the account just announces the project news. However, the nature of Wikileaks makes this account “a bad use” of Twitter. In this case motivation was to popularize the scandalous internet-source, method was the use of regular Tweets, and the consequences was the wide spread of Wikileaks information.

Censorship and impossibility to make public some information also motivates people to use Twitter. For example, toxic waste scandal in Côte d’Ivoire was discussed in Twitter because the involved authorities and businessmen did not want public coverage Thus, Twitter can be badly used not only for riots and protect groups’ organization but also for avoiding censorship.

The results of Twitter “bad use” was not only the mass protests, but also the new wave of debates in different media and social networks including twitter. The theme of debates was the right to freedom of speech and the possible violation of this right by authorities and regulative bodies.

Thus, it can be concluded that “bad use” of Twitter can happen in the case of organized criminal, in terrorist organization, in different kinds of cheating but at the same time it can be used for the news coverage of some aspects blocked by official media. It is also can be used as the powerful tool of opposition against the antidemocratic political regime.


Results of empirical research are based mainly on the personal experience. However, it can be said that scholarly researches can hardly follow the development of new technologies. Nowadays scholar research follow two dimensions: some of them try to adapt the existing theories to new environment, and others try to develop new theories on the base of new technologies.

There are three main aspect of social networks theoretical analysis: motivation, method, and result (consequences). However, the existing researches in this sphere are mainly outdated because of fast development of social networks. Thus, there are some gaps in literature related to the newest trends in social networks use. For example, there are no analytical researches related to «bad use» of microblogging service.

This paper provides the empirical research of «bad use» of Twitter. The main conclusion of this research is that Twitter can be used by political opposition as a powerful and influential media. In practice it means that it is possible to make plans of future Twitter use as oppositional media, or develop certain strategy to avoid this. However, this statement requires further researches and the support with the statistical data. Political events can be used as an argument in support of the main thesis of this work. This main thesis states that most of Web 2.0 services, social networks, and twitter in particular, can be used for both “good” and “bad” purposes. Nevertheless, sometimes bad use of Twitter is the only method to organize communication under censorship.

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