Interestingly, a spokesperson from Twitter announced that the scandal has prompted the company to completely rethink its outdated technology: “We feel that Twitter shares the blame in the misunderstanding. When we began, the technology for supporting communication in excess of 140 characters just didn’t exist; and people can’t express themselves clearly with those limitations. Mr. Weiner is partially a victim of our shortcomings. It’s become clear to us that our system just plain sucks, and that other social networks are passing us by with their larger character allowances.”
At the time of the incident in May, Rep. Weiner told the press that his Twitter account had been hacked. But he never offered any evidence to support the assertion, nor explicitly denied that the bulge in the photograph belonged to him. Since that time, much ado has been made of Weiner’s wiener, which sources close to the New York Democrat say is a first.
Unfortunately, Anthony Weiner’s troubles increased this week when another woman came forward and claimed that she had received over 200 lewd messages from the congressman.
One colleague attempted to rationalize Weiner’s behavior to reporters: “Anthony has a problem, but it’s never manifested itself beyond the Internet. If you know much about his heritage, you’d understand that this is a historic frailty. He’s a Weiner. In many ways, Weiners generally have one-track minds. It’s hard to control a Weiner. When a Weiner sees something it wants, it jumps to attention and tries to shove itself into the situation. Weiners can also be impetuous and premature. We’ve all seen Weiner throb on the House floor. He’s brash, hard, and relentless when he’s mounting an argument. He shoots first and asks questions later. It’s always an explosive finish, but if he wants to save his career and his marriage, he’ll need to learn some pacing and some control. His PR people are going to have a big mess to mop up, and they’ll need to take prophylactic measures to protect his image in the future.”
Despite Weiner’s admission of guilt, Twitter officials maintain that he might be innocent. In a message sent to the press via Hotmail, Twitter’s development team wrote:
We looked into Representative Weiner’s messages. We determined that hundreds of these questionable tweets were merely parts of one long conversation. Taken in context, everything is quite innocent. The problem is that Twitter can only communicate in 140 characters, which forces people to post numerous tweets to relay a simple thought. After you add URLs and hash tags, there’s no room left for content. We admit, we’ve fallen seriously behind the competition. Facebook allows a status update of 420 characters -- that’s like four times more than Twitter. Google Buzz lets you write as much as you want. How is that possible? We can’t even figure out how to exclude hash tags from character counts.(c) 2011. All stories are works of satire and parody.
Obviously, something was lost in translation. In the office, we often say that politicians should avoid Twitter. For example, can you imagine the feeding frenzy in the news if Rick Santorum posted, “Screwed the pooch today?” That’s going to be taken out of context. A Republican would never admit to an error. So instead of learning that Santorum had violated a puppy, the media would falsely spread the rumor that he had made some sort of mistake.
That kind of misinterpretation is what happened to Anthony Weiner. We’ve discovered that while talking to a medical student, he was simply trying to get some free advice on a mole he’d noticed on his inner thigh. But what you see instead are seemingly suggestive tweets like “It’s huge, wanna see it?” and “Gee, thats a biggun for someone your size” and “How much damage you think that could do to your groin?” and “I know one way to get the swelling down fast but it’s risky.” So what happens is a statement from Weiner as innocent as “Don’t tell my wife,” which was meant to prevent unnecessary worry over the mole, becomes a scandalous secret. It’s sad, and we feel just awful about it.