Nineteen Eighty-Four

Last night at 8:09 PM Eastern, I tweeted:

making applesauce from old apples, mentally transitioning into a week at the office

This morning at 2:44 AM Eastern, Motts began following me on twitter.  I’m fairly certain that nobody at Motts is actually reading my tweets.  I’m also fairly certain that no person at Motts is actually paying enough attention to tweets about apples or applesauce to have made a conscious decision to start following me because of my tweet.

What I suspect is that Motts has some BI type application that is reading one of the many rss feeds that exist for twitter and then following people via the twitter API.

Now, I’ve got no misconceptions about my privacy or lack thereof as a result of my choosing to use twitter or any other service or site, but no matter how you slice it, this is disturbing.  It makes you wonder what other company, government, or organized crime group is reading tweets.

And to think, Motts just thought that maybe I’d follow them so that they could sell me applesauce instead of me making it from scratch.

3 thoughts on “Nineteen Eighty-Four

  1. Hi Damien,

    Just saw this post about the Mott’s twitter and as the person behind the twitter account I do want to say that I’m really real, I promise! Although yes we did use some keyword strategies to follow people we do read the twitter accounts we follow. And the reason you were unfollowed was because you didn’t follow us back and we don’t like to step on any toes or continue to follow people that don’t want Mott’s anywhere near their twitter.

    We are reaching out to Twitter users in hopes they’ll be interested in what Mott’s has to say and even stop by the Parenting and Lifestyle blog we sponsor over at We are proud of the content and perspectives you’ll find there.

    Hopefully this explains everything a bit more and sorry if we bothered you at all.

    On behalf of the Mott’s team,



    1. Thanks for the explanation. I was not really bothered by the chain of events, so much as found them interesting. My background is in IT Security and Networking, so I’m always interested when things like this happen on line.


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