Take this idea: Retract a tweet

This article at Wired sparked an idea for me, especially so with Boulder Startup Weekend on the way this weekend! I don’t have the time or inclination to build this system, but it would be pretty straightforward – so you should build it at your next hackathon.

My basic idea is to use the Twitter API to track down and reach out to the people who RTd a twitter post that you need to retract.

The process I see:

Go to the system (or in a browser plugin) and identify the tweet from your own timeline that needs to be retracted and basic information about why

Embed the tweet – following twitter TOS to a page – on this system’s website in a private link that you can only get to if you have the URL.  Hint: if you could make this into an image that shows up through twitpic or yfrog, then it will show in the details pane on twitter.

– this next part is a bit iffy, but you’re a smart idea person, so you can find a better way –

Send out a new tweet to each of the RTers (probably through the user’s account) that says “Retracted Tweet <insert basic info> http://privateurlhere”, please RT to your friends

Update: The action of one user retracting the tweet would cause the cascade effect of all RTs being retracted or giving the option to those users to have their retracted.


Anyways, I hope that someone takes this low hanging fruit and makes an awesome app that allows people to retract silly things they say on Twitter. It could be really useful and you could monetize this through Facebook with promoted messages or just make a wall of shame for the fun of it.

Update: You could find other tweets who are similar to the factual innacuracy and embed them with the original tweet on the wall of shame.

Update: You make your money by charging people to keep themselves and give the option to their RT-ers off the wall of shame 😉

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