Business Insider reports that email exchanges from February 2012 between founder Noel Biderman and CTO Raja Bhatia describe a custom-built tool called Twitply, that was designed to detect and respond to tweets containing keywords relevant to the company, such as ‘adultery’.
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One email message notes that the service had “analyzed” 2,324,502 tweets and sent 23,105 responses, and details the company’s plans to buy Twitter accounts in bulk to blast even more tweets.
However, the effort didn’t last long. Biderman emailed Bhatia around the end of May 2012 saying, “This doesn’t feel like a sustainable effort.” Bhatia responded, “We gave it three months and that’s all I asked. It isn’t worth my time if I actually have to run it on a daily basis. I’ll shut it down at the end of the month.”
Bhatia had also received a contract in November that described his duties as a consultant to the company:
“Consultant hereby agrees to operate and maintain the Program to send no less than 100,000 “tweets” per month on the Twitter social media service.”
It’s unclear as to whether these tweets actually went out, as later emails note that the Twitply system was shut down in October — before Bhatia received his contract.