User Community Balks at Twitter TV

SAN FRANCISCO: A backlash against an inchoate Twitter reality TV series drew nearly 1,200 official followers in a single day. The news that Twitter executives were talking with Reveille, the production company responsible for “The Biggest Loser” and “The Office,” and Brillstein Entertainment, prompted users of the micro-blog Webtropolis to rebel. Ian Former, a 39-year-old self-described “guy from South Carolina,” started @no_twitter_show on the Web site, objecting to the project.

“I feel the TV show is not a good direction given how glitchy Twitter is,” Former wrote on this blog. His Twitter protest site generated 1,182 followers since 8 p.m. Monday, including Demi Moore, whose husband Ashton Kutcher is the elite of Twitterati, so to speak, with nearly 2 million followers. Kutcher fears a Twitter TV show would incite stalkers.

“I can’t imagine it getting many viewers,” Kutcher wrote, followed by the universal code for “laugh out loud.”

Twitter co-founder Biz Stone responded to the Variety report about the potential show, described as “ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competitive format.” Stone said that no official deal was in place. He called the negotiations with Reveille and Brillstein “a lightweight, non-exclusive agreement.” He later provided more details:

“Just to be clear,” Stone said on his blog, “Twitter is not making a television show. Some Hollywood folks are developing something that leverages Twitter and they are extremely enthusiastic as evidenced by all the media hubbub yesterday and today. We have little to do with their efforts but we wish them success.

“Like the thousands of apps being built around Twitter, there is a growing interest from the entertainment and news industry. We see these projects and others as yet another way the ecosystem is enriched for everyone who uses Twitter.” -- Deborah D. McAdams