Thunderclap’s Crowdtweeting Experiment Struck Down By Twitter

Twitter effectively shut down Thunderclap, a day-old crowdsourcing platform on which people can back tweets they support in order to turn them into trending topics. If a message gets enough supporters, Thunderclap will send the message out en masse. Yesterday, Rolling Stone‘s Matt Taibbi got more than 1,900 supporters to back and send out his inaugural Thunderclap, which reached a total of roughly 4 million people in the Twitterverse.

Today, after a second Thunderclap went out addressed to Congress, Twitter suspended the team’s access to its API. The four-person team behind Thunderclap, part of New York-based product development studio De-De, is currently in talks with Twitter’s support team. If all goes well, Thunderclap will roll out a new version of the platform next week, on which anyone will be able to sign in and create their own Thunderclaps, studio head Hashem Bajwa tells Fast Company. “We’re trying to understand what the exact issues at stake are, but it sounds like they view Thunderclap as spam,” he says. Since Thunderclap’s launch, Bajwa says about 300 people have signed up to create their own messages once the new platform is live, including organizations such as Human Rights Watch.

“We think of Twitter as a river of Internet awesome,” he says. “We want to tap into that stream because we believe there are a lot of great causes and people out there that want to have their messages heard.”

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