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Summary:

What is Twitter’s company identity? One clue may be found in a series of slogans it is posting on office walls and inscribing on employee laptops.

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Apple has “Think Different” and Facebook has the “Hacker Way.” Now, emerging tech giant Twitter is trying out corporate creeds of its own.

“Defend and respect the user’s voice” is one of ten short phrases the company has posted on a wall of its San Francisco office. The phrases, which are also individually inscribed on company laptops, represent the company’s “core values” according to Twitter’s general counsel, Alex Macgillivray. Here’s a shot (the other slogans are blurred at Twitter’s request):

Most of the Twitter slogans are innocuous (like “Ship It”) or bland corporate statements but the vow to defend users’ voices appears to carry more significance. Twitter has already stood out among social media companies by challenging government subpoenas directed at its users. Such acts led a Wired reporter to write that Twitter “beta-tested a spine.”

Twitter is already discovering, though, that it can be easier to espouse a slogan than to live up to it.  The company landed in hot water this month after it was accused of deleting the account of a journalist who had criticized a corporate partner. (Twitter apologized and restored the account).

Macgillivray, perhaps wary of Google’s PR headaches with ‘Don’t Be Evil,’ said the Twitter slogans will remain internal for now.

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  1. “The company landed in hot water this month after it was accused of deleting the account of a journalist who had criticized a corporate partner.”

    The issue isn’t that Twitter deleted the account. The issue is Twitter informed NBC about the “critical” tweets and encouraged NBC to file a complaint so that Twitter could punish the journalist without looking like the “bad guy”. For the life of me I don’t know why Twitter backtracked (after the damage had been done). This type of collusion between major corporate interests is nothing rare or new.

    1. Jeff John Roberts Tracy Wednesday, August 15, 2012

      Thanks for the comment, Tracy. I’m uneasy too about the incident — it smells of reprisal. But on the flip side, Twitter says they have a church/state wall between the business side and the folks who handle the incoming takedown complaints (meaning that the person asked to effect the takedown heard it from NBC — albeit on a tip from a Twitter employee — and from not someone at Twitter). We’ll have to see how they address these sort of conflicts in the future.

      1. Yep. Lets see how they deal with such things in future. Coz this has no end for sure.

  2. markleiser.phd.law Thursday, August 16, 2012

    Reblogged this on #Hashtag – Thoughts on Law, Technology, the Internet, and Social Media and commented:
    Twitter adopts a motto to defend users
    Apple has “Think Different” and Facebook has the “Hacker Way.” Now, emerging tech giant Twitter is trying out corporate creeds of its own.

    “Defend and respect the user’s voice” is one of ten short phrases the company has posted on a wall of its San Francisco office. The phrases, which are also individually inscribed on company laptops, represent the company’s “core values” according to Twitter’s general counsel, Alex Macgillivray. Here’s a shot (the other slogans are blurred at Twitter’s request):

    Most of the Twitter slogans are innocuous (like “Ship It”) or bland corporate statements but the vow to defend users’ voices appears to carry more significance. Twitter has already stood out among social media companies by challenging government subpoenas directed at its users. Such acts led a Wired reporter to write that Twitter “beta-tested a spine.”

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