Twitter will vehemently deny this, but it discriminates against the average Joe, such as you and me. Celebrities and other famous or widely popular people, on the other hand, are given free reign by Twitter. The discrimination comes in the way Twitter applies its limits. No limits are placed on the amount of followers someone can have, while strict limits are placed on the number of people someone can follow. Twitter says the limits are necessary to prevent too much “strain” its system. Why then does allowing people to have unlimited followers not put strain on its system?
But here’s why the limits on the amount of people one can follow is so discriminatory. As soon as a celebrity signs up for a Twitter account and announces it to the world, he or she can instantly grab thousands of followers without having to follow a single soul. The rest of us, however, must follow people in order to get followers. But Twitter places limits on how many people we can follow based on how many people are already following us. In other words, in order to get past certain limits on how many people you can follow, you must already have a certain threshold numbers of followers. In order for us to get followers, we must follow people. But if we don’t have a certain number of followers, we can’t follow people. It’s a catch-22.
Twitter will say it applies these limits equally to all, celebrities or otherwise, and it is technically right. However, its limitation policies naturally favor those who are already well known. In other words, Twitter’s rules tend to allow the rich to get richer while restricting the upward mobility of the poor, so to speak. Remember the poll tax of years gone by? States used to argue that these taxes did not discriminate against anyone because everyone had to pay the same amount of tax in order to vote. But that naturally discriminated against the poor. It kept them from voting. That was the goal of the politicians who created it, and that’s why it was eventually ruled unconstitutional. Twitter is using a similar argument to those that various states were using to defend the poll tax. And it doesn’t make any more sense.