Twitter’s secrets exposed by hacker
Twitter has suffered the ignominy of having hundreds of sensitive internal documents stolen and posted on tech blogs.
According to a Twitter blog, a hacker stole 310 documents from an employee’s email account, before passing them on to various technology blogs. One of these was TechCrunch which has begun posting the information it received, offering a rare glimpse at the inner workings of the popular micro-blogging site.
Among the most interesting snippets is that Twitter is looking at recording its first revenue by the third quarter of this year – a mere $400,000. However, it hopes to build this up to $140 million by the end of 2010.
By the end of 2013, the document reveals that Twitter hopes to have one billion users, post $1.54 billion in revenue, employ 5,200 people and make $111 million in net earnings, according to TechCrunch.
Twitter has played down the airing of the documents: “Obviously, these docs are not polished or ready for prime time and they’re certainly not revealing some big, secret plan for taking over the world,” writes co-founder Biz Stone on the company blog.
“We are in touch with our legal counsel about what this theft means for Twitter, the hacker, and anyone who accepts and subsequently shares or publishes these stolen documents,” he concludes.
Responding to criticism of its handling of the information, Techcrunch claims its actions are legal and defended the publication: “We’ve spent most of the evening reading these documents. The vast majority of them are somewhat embarrassing to various individuals, but not otherwise interesting,” writes TechCrunch Editor Michael Arrington.
“There is clearly an ethical line here that we don’t want to cross, and the vast majority of these documents aren’t going to be published, at least by us. But a few of the documents have so much news value that we think it’s appropriate to publish them.”