Twitter buys and shuts down anti-troll service, leaving customers in a bind

Twitter announced yesterday that they had purchased Smyte. Smyte was a San Francisco-based technology company that specializes in safety, spam, and security issues.

Today, we’re very excited to announce that we’ve agreed to acquire Smyte, a San Francisco-based technology company that specializes in safety, spam, and security issues. Smyte’s team, technology and company mission are aligned with our focus on improving the health of conversation on Twitter, and we believe this will be a powerful addition to our ongoing work.

Normally when big companies acquire smaller ones, they will keep it running for a period of time. If they have existing customer contracts, those will typically be honored, etc. This purchase was important for Twitter because this is something they have dealing with on a day to day basis now.

Last night, TechCrunch reported something troubling. Smyte had been deactivated.

According to reports from those affected, Smyte disabled access to its API with very little warning to clients, and without giving them time to prepare. Customers got a phone call, and then – boom – the service was gone. Clients had multi-year contracts in some cases.

Twitter declined to comment, but we understand it was making phone calls to affected Smyte customers today to match them with new service providers.

This decision is in really poor taste by Twitter. They could have easily announced a shutdown period, and work with existing customers to migrate to different platforms over the next few months. A lot of companies have a big mess on their hands today.

Smyte’s customer included Indiegogo, GoFundMe, TaskRabbit, Meetup, Zendesk, and many other popular online communities.

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