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Twitter Suspends UberTwitter, Twidroy Applications: Here's Why

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UPDATE: See UberMedia's statement below
Twitter has just suspended two third-party Twitter clients, UberTwitter and Twidroyd, for violating the company's policies and trademarks.

According to a statement obtained by TechCrunch, Twitter explained the 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."

Twitter added in the statement, "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."

Twitter announced the suspension of the two applications in its help center, noting that the company was taking the "unusual step of sharing this with you because today's suspension may affect a larger number of users."

Both UberTwitter and Twidroyd are owned by UberMedia, which recently purchased TweetDeck, another Twitter client. Following the acquisition of TweetDeck, around 20 percent of tweets posted each day are sent via apps controlled by the company, according to estimates by Seesmic founder Loic Le Meur.

Here is the full text of Twitter's statement, via ReadWriteWeb:

We ask all developers in the 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.

UPDATE: UberMedia CEO Bill Gross released the following statement:

PASADENA, CA – February 18, 2011 – Early Friday morning, Twitter shut off access to its service by several of our Twitter client applications: UberTwitter, Twidroyd, and UberCurrent. Twitter then notified us that they believed we were in violation of several provisions of their terms of service.

We were immediately in touch with Twitter, and the changes they asked us to make were very small. As a result, we have completed the changes, and new apps are currently being posted to their respective stores. Twitter has assured us that as soon as those changes were complete, they would reactivate our applications.

Twitter also asked us to modify the name of UberTwitter. We began a process of changing the name three weeks ago by polling our users, and we’ve decided based on their input to change the product name to UberSocial, which we completed today.

To our millions of loyal users, we appreciate your patience during this temporary period. We look forward to continuing our innovations on the Twitter platform.

Bill Gross, CEO
UberMedia, Inc.

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