back to article Smyte users not smitten with Twitter: APIs killed minutes after biz gobble

Twitter, known for its rather rocky relationship with developers, cemented its reputation for missteps on Thursday – by announcing the acquisition of content cleansing and security biz Smyte and almost immediately disconnecting the firm's existing customers. The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will allow Twitter to apply Smyte's …

  1. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge

    handling things...

    So instead of "ahhh sorry guys we've got to shut this down and figure a better way" to Smytes customers, they just yanked it and went for beers?

    If this is in any way completely legal to pull down with sla' s and all that jazz or some clause that says if bought out say bye bye to cash surely that's a scam just waiting to happen?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: handling things...

      It's certainly legal, but it doesn't exactly put you out of the firing line of irate lawyers because that SLA has got to be upheld. Otherwise it's a breach of contract and thus likely to be costly.

  2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Ignoring Twitter being twats ( too many tweets make a twat, and all that ) but if your code doesn't fail gracefully when a third party service fails, that's on you.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There is a difference between failing gracefully and still being able to provide a service. npm said this is used to verify new packages and accounts. So you gracefully detect it's offline, then what do you do? if you bypass it you risk filling up the system with spam accounts and packages.

      You can still handle a situation gracefully and be unable to provide a service.

  3. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

    Sounds like a bunch of people would like to strike Twitter with great force. What do you call that? The word's on the tip of my tongue . . .

  4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    We keep telling you: It's somebody else's computer. You just don't have control over it.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      I think you misunderstand the problem. Or you are posting in the wrong thread.

  5. IamStillIan

    So what they're saying is they bought the company, got access to the deatils of what they were doing, realised it was probaly illegal / in breach of something or other somewhere, and put a stop to it?

    Sounds like the due dilligence failure was before the aquisition..

    1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge

      Sounds like the due dilligence failure was before the aquisition.

      The way I read that was they realized prior to the acquisition that they would have to cut off the service from existing customers if they went ahead with things. They knew what they were doing well in advance and could have planned for it. They then "made the difficult decision to wind things down right away” which included giving zero shits about the people with whom there were preexisting contracts and obligations and otherwise acting like complete jerks.

      To summarize: the plan was to buy the property, throw out everyone else and then let the lawyers sort out the mess. Actually, it doesn't sound such a difficult decision when you put it like that.

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        They then "made the difficult decision to wind things down right away” which included giving zero shits about the people with whom there were preexisting contracts and obligations

        I think you've misunderstood why the decision is difficult. If they cut off their clients in breach of contract, they will be liable for a certain amount of compensation. If they don't cut off the clients and collect the data, they'll be liable for a much larger amount of fines.

        The decision is difficult because they both cost money.

  6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "offered acknowledgment that the acquisition had been handled poorly."

    For the amounts of money the execs are paid they should be expected to not handle it poorly.

  7. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    "I feel publicly and royally screwed."

    It's good to be the king

  8. oldtaku


    It's nice to see that Twitter is as consistently terrible at dealing with other companies as it is with dealing with their users.

    'What? Was that bad? Should we not have done that?'

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Smyte processes PII for third parties and is bought by Twitter then Twitter realises it's breaching GDPR so it shuts it down.

    At least that's my theory.

  10. Wellyboot Silver badge

    >>“There have been concerns around how we’re transitioning Smyte’s customers,”<<

    - Because we're utter S***s and didn't care

    >>“With that in mind, we made the difficult decision to wind things down right away,” <<


    >>“We feel terribly that this caused confusion and disruption for Smyte’s customers and their employees and we’re working to help them through this transition.”<<

    I'm sure we'd like to see details of this! My guess is when the support calls started arriving the answers were "Yes it's shutdown" & "No, it's not coming back"

    Are support contracts written on beer mats?

  11. Mage Silver badge


    Why are such acquisitions allowed?

    Even assurances are not enough. See Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp.

    Amazon: Goodreads, IMDB, Abe books, Book Depository and the two companies they bought and merged to make Createspace (now being rebranded Amazon, making it useless for non-Amazon sales).

    Fitbit and Pebble?

  12. revenant Silver badge

    “We could have done better and are learning from this experience.”

    'Should have done better', surely. The fact that they are 'learning from this experience' admits that they put inexperienced management and engineers in charge of the transition.

    It's funny, though, that the victims of this cock-up seem to have easily coped: perhaps the product isn't actually as important as it's cracked up to be.

  13. EastFinchleyite

    Weasel Words

    I bet it soon becomes "blame GDPR"

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is why

    before you pay for a cloudy sort of service¹, or even rely on a free one, you research who's behind it. These guys *will* go on to start some other company and it would be foolish to give money to someone who has already shown he has no qualms about shitting on the very people who made his business successful in the first place. Because as a rule people who cannot be trusted do not get very far in business. And I know we can all point to the odd exception, but that's how it works for nearly everyone of us.

    One bitten twice shy etc.

    ¹ Personally, not a big fan of those especially since a lot of the stuff that's offered can be coded up in-house without much effort, but it must be acknowledged that they do have a place when you are building something ephemeral, such as an MVP or something that you know is going to be a one-off, short-lived project.

  15. Winkypop Silver badge

    No Smyte for you

    And no Smyte for you....

  16. Temmokan

    So we remove the lamps...

    ...and then we will try to guess why it's pitch black now.

    I wonder, why the legal dept.'s staff at twitter didn't think all that about *before* actually initiating the transition? If those Twitter lawyers figured everything out *after* the Smyte has been assimilated, the best those lawyers can do is to retire (but not before they pay to Smyte users for the damage inflicted).

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