Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York and one of US President Donald Trump's top lawyers, has accused Twitter of conspiracy due to a cybersquatter taking over a URL that he Tweeted as a typo. The URL in question, G20.In, ends in the .in suffix often used for Indian websites and caused Twitter's automatic link parsing software to spring into action. Atlanta web designer and Pixel Riot founder Jason Velazquez saw the opportunity for a jab at the modern political world, and bought up the URL, then put an anti-Trump message on the page. Giuliani, seemingly thinking that Twitter was behind this and confused by the fact that the URL parser did not hyperlink a similar typo that did not contain a commonly used domain, sent out a followup Tweet accusing Twitter of being anti-Trump and calling for fairness.
Background: Politicians in the Untied States, on the whole, tend to be on the older side, so it's not a stretch to logically conclude that most of them would not be terribly tech-savvy. Knowing the cause of this particular gaffe, for instance, requires knowledge of both the somewhat niche concept of cybersquatting, along with knowing that Twitter's link parser only picks up on commonly used domain names. The worrisome element here is in Giuliani's reaction to the whole affair, instantly assuming that Twitter was to blame and accusing the company of political bias. This attitude toward Silicon Valley and the tech world in general is not hard to find among American lawmakers, and the saga of this Tweet is just further evidence of that. Many big names in the tech world, such as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google CEO Sundar Pichai, have grappled with this perception not just in the digital space and across miles, but sitting face-to-face with lawmakers, judges and more in courtrooms and meeting rooms.
Impact: It's commonly known that tech knowledge is not generally a strong suit for American politicians as a group, but that didn't stop swarms of Twitter users from descending upon Giuliani's original Tweet and the subsequent reaction to put in their two cents. While the internet at large took a moment from this incident to laugh at what is ultimately the current decade's manifestation of a social convention that goes back thousands of years, being the older crowd having less of a grip on newer developments and technologies than the younger crowd, the implications here are no laughing matter. This incident, and similar ones, mark a disturbing trend of the US government trying to regulate and officially comment on technology that it doesn't know much about. That, in turn, could lead to tone-deaf legislation and other political decisions surround the tech world. Big tech is growing more and more integrated with daily life each week, it seems, making this proposition quite worrisome. As of this writing, Giuliani has not taken down the Tweets, the G20.In link is still live with an anti-Trump message and relevant news article links, and Giuliani has yet to comment on the situation on Twitter. The usually Twitter-happy President seemingly also has yet to comment on this situation in any official fashion.