The decision to remove us from the remit of Twitter's San Francisco HQ won't affect tweeps' accounts in any way, but it's instead a legal loophole that the company's jumped on to avoid the NSA taking hold of its data.
This operational rethink by Twitter can arguably be traced all the way back to the storm kicked up by Snowden around the American government's manhandling of Internet companies. While the data dump on Twitter's Dublin office might not seem like a piece of radar-worthy news, there are plenty of fear-mongering analysts ready to paint a bleak, apocalyptic picture.
By having the Twitter International Company in Dublin take charge of all international (read, non-US) accounts, the 140-character social network is effectively circumventing any obstacles that might prevent it from disclosing user data to advertisers looking to better tailor ads. In other words, if EU regulators ever decide to thwart Twitter's ad practices targeting European citizens, they can no longer invoke the company's non-European HQ as a legal basis for taking measures against it.
How much truth is in the data anyway?
While the growing concern over Big Data sharing our personal quirks might be valid when talking about Google, what I struggle to wrap my mind around is how either Twitter or Facebook can draw so much fire on the back of the info they collect. Our Google searches, shopping habits and digital footprint we leave on various Analytics-enabled sites are, to be sure, a dead giveaway of where our interests lie - on the other hand, our social networking profiles speak so little to who the real us are.
How long has it really been since you updated those favorites' tabs on Facebook with a new movie or a new band you've checked out? And do you really identify with those happy-go-lucky hashtags you've adorned your Twitter profile with? Even if you do, and even if you are a 7-times-a-day poster on every social network with a big enough soapbox - to then start crying foul overseeing a bunch of ads tailored to those interests you yourself put out there is, if nothing else, a waste of your time.
Insofar, as this economy is built on exchanging money for goods, there's always going to be sellers and buyers. We're past the point where we could go back to bartering livestock for grains. No way around it.
Sure, in the beginning there was the Internet, seen through rose-tinted glasses as a free space to roam and share and collaborate in, across traditional boundaries and without any costs incurred. Now it's grown into an environment that's all too inclusive, too life-like if you will, for us to maintain that wide-eyed premise. It's where mirror lives are led, second personae managed, and unsightliness carefully pruned. And, yes, the takeaway for brands - or sellers of any ilk - is it's a second #Advertising space where, increasingly now as targeting is becoming ever more customizable, it can get a better come-hither bang for their buck.
The costs of being on the Internet now are shared by all: if we really want in on the benefits of this virtual reality, pestering ads (that networks, to be fair, make a good job of seamlessly integrating into the user experience) are, I reckon, a cross we have to be able to bear. To clamor for opting out of the advertisers' wiles is tantamount to walking around blindfold in the street. #Social media