Jan 182011
 January 18, 2011  Posted by  Business, Featured News, Online

There’s a new page on this web site:  the ThankTwitter page.

The #ThankTwitter campaign is a grassroots, crowd-sourced effort to publicly acknowledge Twitter’s defense of its users’ privacy when served with a sealed court order to turn over some users’ information without even notifying the users.  Instead of complying, Twitter filed a motion to unseal the court order, and thankfully, they prevailed. As a direct result of their actions, they were able to notify their users of the court order and buy them some time to move to quash the order.  As Ryan Singel of Wired.com would later comment, their response should become the industry standard.

Somewhat euphoric that a company that could have just caved in to a court order actually resisted it and made the effort on behalf of its users, a number of privacy advocates talking in #PrivChat on Twitter decided that we wanted to accomplish two main goals:

  • We wanted to thank Twitter more broadly than just some isolated tweets on Twitter
  • We wanted to show other companies that protecting consumers’ privacy is solid corporate practice that will pay off in terms of increased consumer loyalty.

And so we came up with the idea to name Twitter the Company of the Year for Data Protection Day 2011. And we’re asking everyone who cares about privacy to cast their approval on a referendum to name Twitter Company of the Year for Data Privacy Day 2011.

If you want to support the effort, you can cast your vote on Helios and re-tweet or blog the link to vote to encourage everyone else to do so, too.

You can also show your enthusiasm for good corporate stewardship by adding a #ThankTwitter hashtag to your tweets. Post it on your Facebook page, add it to your sigfiles – get up on your nearest virtual soapbox and help us spread the word that consumers do take note and appreciate companies that defend our privacy.

But the campaign doesn’t stop there. It’s just beginning. Some of us think that this Company of the Year Award for Data Privacy Day should be an annual event to recognize the company who we, the people,  think have done an outstanding job of respecting and defending our privacy.

The ThankTwitter campaign is also an opportunity for all of us to demonstrate the power of social media to influence companies on privacy. We know that Facebook and other companies respond when privacy advocates complain loudly and clearly about new features that put privacy at risk. Now it’s time to show how social media can positively reinforce and reward companies that do the right thing.

So what are you waiting for? Go read the first press release and then join the effort!

Carousel Image: © Yukchong KwanDreamstime.com

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