Reporting on pedestrian life in the D.C. area

Picture of the day: Keep your friends close, keep your enemies...

September 13, 2011 - 11:40 AM
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(Photo: Twitter)

How different are WMATA and its biggest social media critic? Based on Twitter accounts, not very.

I captured this image last week and can't help but laugh a little to see the official @WMATA Twitter account listing one of its biggest Internet critics, @FixWMATA, as a "similar" account to the right of its tweets. Most of the similar accounts belong to neutral transit-oriented D.C. folks — the Twitter accounts for Capital Bikeshare, DDOT,Councilmember Mary Cheh, the Post's Dr. Gridlock, and so on. But these two accounts couldn't be more different in tone in how they talk about the Metrorails and various issues facing WMATA and its riders. That one topic does unite the two accounts, however, and I can understand how Twitter's automated ranking of similar accounts would link the two together. The same D.C. transit enthusiasts are probably drawn to both, after all.

To be fair, his fellow critic over at @unsuckDCmetro is also listed as a similar account.

Read more about the uncomfortable social media standoff between the WMATA communications team and Chris Barnes, the man in his early 30s known online as @FixWMATA who embarked on a personal crusade to track Metro's hot cars for the past two summers, in my piece on hot cars from July. Barnes has quieted down lately, and as the weather begins to cool, the time is right to reflect on the strange Internet phenomenon of Metro and its Internet critics from recent months. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer, right?

So, if I'm "snarky" toward @wmata they don't respond to me. If I'm "nice" toward @wmata they don't respond to me. Decisions, decisions...less than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

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