living an unconventional life, one cocktail at a time

Twitter: Allowing Private Accounts To Follow You

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not all baby, all the time around here!

I recently encountered something on Twitter that I haven’t seen in my nearly three years of using the service. It’s kind of a convoluted story to explain, so bear with me.

A girl I follow has a private account. Apparently she followed a public account that appears to be a combined business/personal account- the avatar is a person, but the account’s bio describes a company that connects people and plans social events, and the tweets are very social and conversational.

What caught my attention was this: girl with private account retweeted a tweet from this social business account that they sent her after she followed them, and it basically said this (paraphrased): their account doesn’t allow private accounts to follow them. Not only did they call her out publicly to all their followers for having a private account, they also announced that they blocked her.

What?!

Why does a public account for a business — especially one that is for a social event-planning, people-connecting business — care if someone with a private account follows them? Sure, it’s their account and they can do what they want, but that’s not a very social way to operate when your goal is to connect people. People have all kinds of reasons for having private Twitter accounts, but a private account doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t want to connect with people.

A brief exchange followed between the business account and a few people who questioned them about it. Their philosophy was basically this: if they can’t see what you’re tweeting, they don’t want you to see what they’re tweeting. I don’t know if they sent a follow request to the private account and it wasn’t approved, or if they didn’t even attempt to connect.

This “policy” seems hypocritical to me, especially given the nature of the business account. They called out the private account for “not being open and social,” yet turned around and blocked her from following them — or, essentially, they refused to be open and social.

Social media is funny sometimes.

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