5 Reasons Why the Twitter Blackout Matters

The Pentagon's possible ban on social media is beginning to make sense, for starters.

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For addicts of Twitter and Facebook, the next best thing to actually using these services is talking about them. The chatter about yesterday's blackout--which for some has persisted into this morning--was loud and voluble, as rumors mounted that the attacks were coordinated against a single anti-Russian blogger from Georgia. But the outage may be more important than conversational fodder. Coming on the heels of a hack on Gawker and the theft of Twitter's strategic plans, yesterday's blackout has technopundits considering the larger significance of security weaknesses in social media.

  • Psycopaths Have Moved Online, says Ryan Singel at Wired's Epicenter blog. "It means that assuming that the bad guys online are just a new breed of bank robbers can get you into trouble if there’s a few psychopaths mixed in."
  • Rise in Attacks Have Brought Corporate Enemies Closer, says Joseph Tartakoff at paidContent. "With a common enemy, social networking competitors become friends. Facebook, Twitter, and Google (NSDQ: GOOG)—which were all reportedly attacked—are now working together to investigate."
  • Businesses Have Become Dependent on Twitter, says Douglas Macmillan at BusinessWeek. "Pitching products and talking to customers on Twitter has become so easy for companies, many may forget how they ever did without it."
  • Proof That the Pentagon Ban Might Be Wise  As we covered this week, and as explained today at the Strategy Page, "What the marines are concerned about are viruses and other malware used by hackers, via social networks, to get into users computers."
  • Iran Might Be Involved, says Nicholas Ciarelli at the Daily Beast. "The Iranian government, so this theory goes, brought down Twitter to prevent the opposition movement from using it to organize protests after Wednesday’s swearing-in of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.