Blogger Mickey Kaus likes to send nastygrams to famous people, on Twitter, when the mood strikes him. And yet these messages sometimes disappear from Twitter search, despite the microblogging service's well-established technical competence. Mere coincidence — ha! — or conspiracy?
Here's how The Twitter World Works, according to Kaus: Twitter needs celebrities on its service to attract millions of new users every month or quarter or whatever. Celebrities, in turn need adoring fans, but (key point) have very fragile egos. So Kaus suspects Twitter of keeping a secret team of interns in a back room somewhere, poring over the massive stream of tweets directed at celebrities, and deleting the mean nasty tweets from search.twitter.com. The offending tweets still appear on Twitter, but won't show up in search results.
Kaus knows this because he tweeted something mean about CNN president Jon Klein, and it never showed up in Twitter search. Plus, in Kaus' experience, searches on celebrity names "almost invariably turn up... pleasant comments." Pretty ironclad. Ahem.
But you know what? The conspiracy might just be real. (Cue sinister music.) Here's a chummy little conversation between Twitter CEO/co-founder Ev Williams (pictured above, left, with celebrity tweeter Michael Stipe) and known celebrity Alyssa Milano talking about Kaus' conspiracy theory. She called it "interesting," followed by Ev's slick — too slick! — non-denial denial of Kaus' allegations.
Williams could have knocked down Kaus' conspiracy allegations by simply saying "that's absurd" or somesuch. But he didn't. Now we're actually kind of intrigued, at Kaus' seemingly crackpot ideas. Tell us it ain't so, Twitter people. Or better yet confirm, preferably with a picture of your secret cabal of celebrity gladhanders.