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Jarret M Coon and the mysterious case of the lost tribe

June 13, 2008

When I last wrote about him 10 days ago, Jarret Coon was following more than 126,000 people on Twitter and had something like 4,400 followers. Today his contingent of followers is up to over 5,800 and still rising strongly, but he now follows only 45.

Clearly something significant has happened. There is a clue in this blog post by Erik MacKinnon.

“At about 3am on Wednesday June 4, myself, 14 year-old Jarret Coon and Richard Sayer were suspended from Twitter – for having the most number of Twitter users followed. Jarret, myself and Richard (#1, 2 and 3 respectively) have continuously followed Twitter users to the point that we are each following well over 100,000 people.”

So it looks like the day after I blogged about Jarret Coon, he and two other Twitterers who were following large numbers of people came to the attention of Twitter HQ and promptly had their wings clipped. As for why Twitter staff might feel motivated to suspend the Twittering Three and strip them of their followees, there is another clue in Erik MacKinnon’s post, where he refers to a complaint by another censored Twitter user, the tastily named foulbastard, which was resolved on the Get Satisfaction website.

Jason Goldman from Twitter explained:

“Because of the opt-in nature of following another person on Twitter, we don’t have a spam problem but we do get some folks who try to abuse the system for some reason or another. When enough people block an account on Twitter that usually indicates some sort of attempted abuse—this is how the Twitter community lets us know when something is not quite right.”

Now it is quite likely that Jarret, Erik and Richard Sayer were starting to get blocked by some of the people they were following. With such large numbers of people followed there were bound to be some who resented the attention of someone they didn’t know, notwithstanding that this is the norm on Twitter. I do remember Jarret tweeting around 3 June about “having a hater”. There was a female Twitter user who regarded Jarret as some kind of stalker, just for following her unsolicited, mouthed off about him on Twitter and also blocked him. I’m guessing this is the sort of thing that led to the suspensions reported by Erik.

The wing-clipping was short-lived. Jarret Coon is back on Twitter, as are Erik MacKinnon and Richard Sayer. The latter is not far behind Jarret in terms of followers.

As a final observation about how Jarret has been so successful in building up a big following, I described his technique in my previous post as including “twittering outrageous garbage more or less non-stop“. Well clearly there is a reason his outpourings of tweets have found some traction. There are followers who view them in an entirely different light. There is an example of that here.

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5 comments

  1. Yesterday i recieve the twitter notification he was follow me. I did’nt know who was he. When i check his followers, i did’nt find me ¬_¬, strange. May be now his tecnic is start following and leter just stop follow.


  2. More on Jarret, including some comments by Jarret himself, here.


  3. I’m fine with him following me–but I’m not going to follow him. There’s clearly something up with the guy. I’ll pass on returning the favor…


  4. […] que seguía aún y todo a más de 100.000 usuarios de Twitter hizo llamar la atención de Twitter lo cual según leemos en éste post fue bloqueado, si bien ya no debe estarlo porque actualmente sigue a unos cuarenta y algo y le […]


  5. He just started following me this morning, so maybe he’s just working his way back up to 100,000. I have no idea who he is. Blocked…



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