Some of UberMedia's Twitter Clients Get Blocked

If you use Twidroyd, UberTwitter, or UberCurrent, you're probably having trouble reading Tweets right about now. That is because Twitter has officially suspended those applications, citing policy violations.

The suspension appears to have been enforced on Friday, Feb. 18. Reports from a Twidroyd user indicate that after the ban, he saw only two Tweets: one telling him of the suspension, and one that points him to Twitter's official clients.

Tweetdeck was recently acquired by UberMedia. With that, approximately 20 percent of the tweets sent daily are from UberMedia apps, when you include all the other Twitter clients the company has acquired (Echofon, Twidroyd and UberTwitter).

Twitter says the following in a help center post:
We have suspended UberTwitter and twidroyd for violating our policies.

Every day, we suspend hundreds of applications that are in violation of our policies. Generally, these apps are used by a small number of users. We are taking the unusual step of sharing this with you because today’s suspension may affect a larger number of users.
Here's how the suspension was explained to TechCrunch:
We ask all developers in Twitter ecosystem to abide by a simple set of rules that are in the interests of our users, as well as the health and vitality of the platform as a whole.

We often take actions to enforce these rules; in fact, on an average day we turn off more than one hundred services that violate our API rules of the road. This keeps the ecosystem fair for everyone.

Today we suspended several applications, including UberTwitter, twidroyd and UberCurrent, which have violated Twitter policies and trademarks in a variety of ways. These violations include, but aren’t limited to, a privacy issue with private Direct Messages longer than 140 characters, trademark infringement, and changing the content of users’ Tweets in order to make money.

We’ve had conversations with UberMedia, the developer of these applications, about policy violations since April 2010, when they first launched under the name TweetUp – a term commonly used by Twitter users and a trademark violation. We continue to be in contact with UberMedia and hope that they will bring the suspended applications into compliance with our policies soon.
Earlier this week, it was announced that UberMedia raised $17.5 million from Facebook investors Accel Partners. Additionally, UberMedia's CEO, Bill Gross just Tweeted that
Twitter has requested that we make some small changes to our clients, which we are doing right now, & we will be back live again asap.

Meanwhile, Business Insider has chimed in with a few more theories about why a "war" (their words) is ongoing:
  • Suspicion in some quarters that Gross is roping all these Twitter apps together to build a network between them that would rival Twitter's.
  • Some say the issue is the Facebook influence over UberMedia bothers Twitter. Accel partner Jim Breyer, who sits on Facebook's board, will now also take a seat on UberMedia's board.
  • One source says Twitter hates the idea of letting another company control its UX/UI, and doesn't think it needs to be shown how to make money.
  • It's possible Twitter worries that Google or Facebook will see buying UberMedia and using it as a toe-hold to launch a Twitter clone as a cheaper alternative to spending $10 billion to buy Twitter. One source close to TweetDeck hints: "Uber-oogle?"
We'll see if UberMedia's Twitter clients are back online as quickly as Gross feels they will be.