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Re: [Osdc-list] Secret out: Twitter has a separate feed for promoted tweets



Thanks everyone! This is great feedback. An interesting topic for sure.

Also, I realized I confused things a bit by referring to Twitter's code when I meant some of the software they use is open source.

On Fri, Oct 19, 2012 at 5:19 PM, Bryan Behrenshausen <bryanb email unc edu> wrote:

It sounds to me like this is some good ol'-fashioned reverse engineering aimed at discovering precisely how data are collecting, distributed, and controlled. But that's not to say there isn't an open-sourcey angle here! If Twitter were more transparent about their deployment of so called "Promoted Tweets," all this reverse engineering would be necessary (one could simply look at the code).

I mean to say: It would be UNnecessary.


On Fri, 19 Oct 2012, Jason Hibbets wrote:

On 10/19/2012 03:38 PM, Paula OCF wrote:
My understanding is that Twitter uses open source software, but has not
open sourced Twitter. They recently OS'd Clutch.io.

Paula Hunter | Executive Director | Outercurve Foundation
www.outercurve.org <http://www.outercurve.org> | 781-876-6227 (o) |
978-764-2037 (m)

twitter: huntermkt, outercurve | skype: hunterpaula



On Oct 19, 2012, at 3:26 PM, Jennifer Wike wrote:

We believe that the author of this article was able to discover this
separate feed for promoted tweets because Twitter's code is open
source, but we aren't sure. Can anyone from the community confirm and
help us understand?

http://www.fastcompany.com/3002016/reverse-engineering-twitter-solve-advertising-mystery?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fastcompany%2Fheadlines+%28Fast+Company%29
<http://www.fastcompany.com/3002016/reverse-engineering-twitter-solve-advertising-mystery?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+fastcompany%2Fheadlines+%28Fast+Company%29>


For clarity on what was slightly confusing to us...the article says:

"Fortunately for us, the app was written almost entirely in Objective C, which meant that we'd be able to examine some of the app's source code as it was written by Twitter's very own engineers; usually, when disassembling C/C++ binaries, source code loses its original naming symbology, but Objective-C preserves a lot of symbols which makes it easier to follow along."

Then goes on to show how they investigated the code:

"Using a nifty tool called class-dump, we began examining the contents of Twitter.app and how it was designed."


I think the question is...because of the way the code was presenting, did this allow the folks "hacking" on this to do this sort of discovery and is there an open source angle to that?

Thanks,
Jason
--
Jason Hibbets, RHCSA :: Twitter: @jhibbets
Project Manager, Red Hat :: Raleigh, NC

Open source is changing the world -- http://opensource.com

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