Recently, Twitter suspended two of its affiliates Twidroid and Uber Twitter for alleged trademark infringement and privacy violations. The interesting thing is that it appears that UberMedia, the owner and operator of the third-party Twitter applications Twidroid and Uber Twitter, is buying up a roster of apps that may possibly compete with Twitter in the future. The company started as a client of Twitter that provided applications to enhance Twitter’s functions.
Carolyn Penner, official spokesperson for Twitter issued this statement, which seems to downplay the suspension:
“We ask all developers in Twitter ecosystem to abide by a simple set of rules that are in the interests of our users, as well as the health and vitality of the platform as a whole.
We often take actions to enforce these rules; in fact, on an average day we turn off more than one hundred services that violate our API rules of the road. This keeps the ecosystem fair for everyone.
Today we suspended several applications, including UberTwitter, twidroyd and UberCurrent, which have violated Twitter policies and trademarks in a variety of ways. These violations include, but aren’t limited to, a privacy issue with private Direct Messages longer than 140 characters, trademark infringement, and changing the content of users’ Tweets in order to make money.
We’ve had conversations with UberMedia, the developer of these applications, about policy violations since April 2010, when they first launched under the name TweetUp – a term commonly used by Twitter users and a trademark violation. We continue to be in contact with UberMedia and hope that they will bring the suspended applications into compliance with our policies soon.”
Social Web sites such as Twitter and Facebook will probably become increasingly aggressive in their protection of trademarks, as the market for social networking applications and services continues to diversify.