There’s been a bit of an uproar among Twitter users over the change of ownership of an account handle. The user Tower Bridge (@towerbridge), which was set up in 2008 as a small experiment by Tom Armitage of the Infovore site had accrued over 4,000 followers. It was a simple account, tweeting every time the London landmark raised and lowered its bridges, and letting the followers know which vessels had gone through. But the user name has been turned over to an official representative of a marketing outfit promoting the Tower Bridge Exhibition as the account is “in violation of Twitter’s trademark policy”.
When this news first broke, there was initial disgust at the fact Twitter would just take away a user’s handle, but it later transpired that the micro-blogging site had in fact tried to contact Tom Armitage to notify him of the trademark policy and what was going to happen. However, Tom hadn’t seen the email, and so didn’t have a chance to do anything about archiving his account or running a Twitter backup for posterity’s sake.
In light of the change of ownership, a hashtag materialised, and #givetowerbridgeback is gathering pace. People are clearly somewhat miffed by the fact that someone can have their creative endeavours taken away without any apparent warning – although in Twitter’s defence, the initial backlash was before it emerged that they had in fact contacted Tom Armitage – and it goes to show that nothing is ever really 100% safe when it comes to online content.