Wednesday 17 June 2009

Bangkok Post contracts Twitteritis

In the past 24 hours, the Bangkok Post's Twitter account @Bangkok_Post has lost ten percent of its followers due to a condition that is gradually becoming known as Twitteritis. Since yesterday evening, @Bangkok_Post has been re-spewing the same old messages every few minutes, flooding Twitter Users with more and more copies of the same piece of old news.

The number of followers of @Bangkok_Post has dropped from just under 1,000 when the Twitteritis began to 933 at dusk the next day, annoyed at the huge amount of unwanted, repetitive messages.

Many Tweeple have Tweeted their concerns at the event, exchanging emails of executives at the Bangkok Post as well as commenting that they have phoned in but to no avail.

"It's a case of 'Mai Pen Rai'," one foreign journalist Tweeted in resignation.

On a technical note, it is interesting that the messages are sent "via the web" rather than through the Twitter API. This means that someone at the Bangkok Post's web department had made an automated script that was malfunctioning to input the Tweets on a web page rather than a dedicated program.

Twitter may be useful for people to keep up with news, but as the loss of followers of Thailand's oldest newspapers also means that an unattended bot run amok can make followers turn their back as quickly as they joined in the first place.

No comment was received by the people at the Bangkok Post and the case of Twitteritis continues unabated.

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