Not near a TV to watch the presidential debate? Missing the VMAs and dying to hear what Kanye’s speech is about? Just search Twitter and follow a live feed of the latest buzz. Not only can a Twitter user instantly find out the trendiest gossip, they can now make a monetary donation to a candidate within seconds. As of September 15, CEO of both companies Jack Dorsey, declared that Twitter and Square Inc. have partnered to allow candidates to increase their fundraising one tweet at a time. All a candidate has to do is tweet a link and users can click on it, provide their credit card number, and select their desired amount to donate (Frier). While this seems like a quick, efficient, and popular way to generate funds, it comes with some serious ramifications.
Due to the 304 million active monthly users on Twitter, candidates will undoubtedly increase their funds. This reaches an entire new group of individuals who may have not donated before now. Whether it be because a specific user follows that candidate and sees the tweet or that tweet was “retweeted” into their timeline, that user is now more likely to make a donation. Dorsey is using a collaboration tool known as “social networking” to help candidates (Rainer). This merges the runner's personal and professional life, by linking that fundraising component to the candidate’s personal twitter page. However, while this new collaboration is incredibly beneficial to the candidates, it is likely to come at the expense of many Twitter users.
Like most other social media sites, websites, and databases, Twitter, too, is likely to be hacked. This serves as serious problem when user’s credit cards are being used to donate money. If a donator is using public Wi-Fi or a Hotspot, it is even easier for their information to be hacked. Also, RFIDs found in credit cards, can easily be copied and tracked. Not to mention the numerous websites or YouTube tutorials that outline every exact detail on how to hack someone’s Twitter. For example, type www.twitter-hack.net and learn how to hack Twitter in just three simple steps. For these reasons, delving out credit card information to support a candidate through a tweet seems too risky.
Personally, I cannot justify the simplicity of donating money through a tweet when my credit card information is severely at risk. If twitter could not be hacked so easily or if information to hack twitter was not so readily available, I feel as if this service would be more beneficial. Until then, I plan to continue to donate money the old-fashioned way.
Frier, Sarah. "Want to Donate to a Political Candidate? Now There's a Tweet for That."
Bloomberg.com. Bloomberg, 15 Sept. 2015. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.
Rainer, R. Kelly, Casey G. Cegielski, and Brad Prince. Introduction to Information
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"Twitter: Number of Monthly Active Users 2015 | Statistic." Statista. N.p., 2015. Web.
16 Sept. 2015.