Twitter buys and shuts down anti-troll service, leaving customers in a bind

Twitter announced yesterday that they had purchased Smyte. Smyte was a San Francisco-based technology company that specialized in safety, spam, and security issues.

Today, we’re very excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Smyte, a San Francisco-based technology company that specializes in safety, spam, and security issues. Smyte’s team, technology and company mission are aligned with our focus on improving the health of conversation on Twitter, and we believe this will be a powerful addition to our ongoing work.

Normally when big companies acquire smaller ones, they will keep it running for a period of time. If they have existing customer contracts, those will typically be honored, etc. This purchase was important for Twitter because spam and security is something they have been dealing with on a day to day basis now.

Last night, TechCrunch reported something troubling. Smyte has been deactivated.

According to reports from those affected, Smyte disabled access to its API with very little warning to clients, and without giving them time to prepare. Customers got a phone call, and then – boom – the service was gone. Clients had multi-year contracts in some cases.

Twitter declined to comment, but we understand it was making phone calls to affected Smyte customers today to match them with new service providers.

This decision is in really poor taste by Twitter. They could have easily announced a shutdown period, and worked with existing customers to migrate to different platforms over the next few months. But now, a lot of companies have a big mess on their hands today.

Smyte’s customers included Indiegogo, GoFundMe, TaskRabbit, Meetup, Zendesk, and many other popular online communities.

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Twitter is a social networking site that was created in 2006. Users send "tweets" to let people know what they are doing. It was created by Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Biz Stone, and Evan Williams.

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