How to Revoke Communication #shutdown from Twitter & FaceBook

November 4, 2010 · 5 comments

in Social Media

Revoke support of Communication ShutdownI learned a few valuable lessons by supporting (and later revoking my support of) the Communication Shutdown movement to raise awareness and money for Autism. (You can read how and why I shut down access to Twitter & FaceBook.)

Lesson 1 – Shutting down doesn’t open dialogue

I began to wonder, thanks to comments by Lyndon Antcliff and Savannah Logsdon-Breakstone, how shutting down communication and not speaking was going to “speak” for those affected by autism who can’t always speak as freely as they want?

My opinion about the Autism charity drive and their methodology changed after learning more about perceived stereotypes and Autistic Speaking Day, which was also on November 1, in protest of the #shutdown movement. This sentence sealed it:

“…on November 1st, Autistic people should speak up and be heard.   That in the absence of NT voices, Autistics should reclaim the Autism community by communicating in our own ways on our life experiences.”

So, essentially took away the voice of those with Autism for a day. In addition, they failed at some best practices for social media:

  • #shutdown didn’t analyze its audience to ensure efforts represented the community.
  • #shutdown didn’t offer a blog on their site upon which the conversation could be held – no voice.
  • #shutdown didn’t engage through a Twitter profile for conversation before and after November 1.
  • #shutdown auto tweeted via supporters’ Twitter accounts and auto posted via our FaceBook accounts AFTER the event, charading as us!!

I DID NOT tweet or post the following on Nov 2:

#shutdown auto tweet to Twitter

#shutdown auto tweet to Twitter

#shutdown auto post to FaceBook

#shutdown auto post to FaceBook

Terms of Support & Disclaimer

The small print did say they would post on our behalf the day of the #shutdown to let our friends and followers know why we were not on Twitter & FaceBook and to raise awareness of Autism. Fair enough. And, for example, the tweet on the day of the event said (auto tweet from…).

Small print DID NOT SAY they would continue to tweet AFTER the event. The tweet and post shown above look as if I manually posted them and “spoke” for the #shutdown movement. Misrepresentation.

Lesson 2 – How to revoke access to Twitter & FaceBook

I learned one should beware and be careful about giving money, supporting causes, and about giving applications access to your Twitter and FaceBook account.

I learned how to revoke access to applications that were once granted access to one’s Twitter and FaceBook accounts. Cliff Notes version of the steps follow:

Revoke Access to Twitter

Here’s how to revoke access to Twitter:

  1. Via Twitter Web, go to Settings > Connections.
  2. Find the application > click on “Revoke Access.”
  3. You’ll see a confirmation screen similar to that shown below:
Revoke access from Twitter

Revoke access from Twitter

You can “undo” the revocation if you made a mistake. If you do nothing at this point, the application will be removed from your Twitter Connections list.

(Thank you Joshua Titsworth and Andrew Woods for showing me how to revoke the #shutdown CHAPP app.)

Revoke Access to FaceBook

Here’s how to revoke access to FaceBook:

  1. In FaceBook via the Web, go to Account > Privacy Settings.
  2. Under Applications and Websites (lower left of screen), click on “Edit your settings” for using applications, games and websites.
  3. Click on “Edit Settings” at the top, for Applications you use. You’ll see a list of applications granted access.
  4. Click “Edit Settings” to the right of the application you want to revoke, and you’ll see a screen similar to the following:
Click for larger image of "Revoke access to FaceBook"

Revoke access to FaceBook

Whallah! You are free and clear and have your social media voice back!

Lesson 3: Take care of your voice!

I also learned that social media is an essential voice to people with and without Autism.

Be careful what you say and whom you let speak for you!

Communication Shutdown’s website also overlooked some key fundamentals of SEO and user experience on their website, but such discussion is not for this blog post. (Sorry, Communication Shutdown. You won’t get a free SEO audit and analysis here.)

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Josh November 4, 2010 at 10:52 pm

What I really find upsetting is that this organization may be using this “auto tweet”/”auto update” method as a way to spread the word about their cause. Having worked for a non-profit I know it takes a lot to accomplish what they are doing, BUT if one were to look at the twitter stream for #shutdown it looks so spammy it isn’t even funny. Can you imagine if all the “free viagra” emails were put in one location how bad it would look? This is the same method.


2 Lyena Solomon November 5, 2010 at 9:00 am

It is so unbelievable that a legitimate organization would decide to post messages on your behalf without your approval! It is even more appalling that nobody in the organization considered this practice unacceptable. Didn’t they realize that they will lose supporters and, most likely, donations by taking advantage of people’s trust?

One of my customers wanted me to evaluate a vendor. The vendor has a practice of creating accounts for business’ customers and posting reviews on those customers’ behalf. I was speechless. Cannot even imagine the damage when it all blows up.

Companies who have no respect for privacy of their customers and ethics will inflict irreparable damage on their brand.


3 JadedTLC November 5, 2010 at 11:37 am

With all the experts I know and speak with daily, why aren’t these charities looking to us to help? Don’t they “get” that I may even help for FREE or low-cost or give advice for free? This is like someone hiring the 13 year old kid next door to fix your car’s computer. Hire or inspire an expert!

Sorry, but it saddens me that good causes are failing because of incompetency. There are so many good people out there who would help you achieve your goals, and yet you want to “do it yourself.”


4 Dana Lookadoo November 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Thanks for commenting and sharing your insights!!

@Josh, so agree about the auto tweeting and the spamming of the #shutdown hashtag – #shortsighted they were. AND they realized the power of social media to auto tweet and post but convinced many of us to shutdown #paradox!

@Lyena, the kicker is that once you donated, you had an option to approve access for them to post messages the day of to tell others where we were & raise awareness about the movement. Subsequent messages not identified as auto tweets or posts? THAT was UNACCEPTABLE. Surely, if they are even monitoring social media, they will find many who are unhappy with their methodologies – irreparable damage, for sure.

@JadedTLC EXACTLY! There are many of us who would donate time and help such ventures, but instead they hired a company who obviously didn’t understand planning and implementation of such a shutdown. But then, maybe the marketing firm who took the job said there were “social media experts.”


5 Ching Ya December 3, 2010 at 12:05 am

Hi Dana, first visit here and impressed with your blog, not to mention your enthusiasm to help out the autism cause. However, I have to agree with others regarding the auto-posting apps. Being a social media enthusiast myself, I had been thinking a lot about ethics and trust that people have given to the ‘apps’ in authorizing them to access our social profiles. It is true every organizations, big and small, are hoping to jump into the social media whirlpool, but when it comes to effectiveness and ethics, there’s still a long way to go. May we all learn from this experience of yours. Appreciate the share.

Social/Blogging Tracker


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