Thomas “Tom” Anderson, better known to early-2000-era social networkers as “MySpace Tom,” the co-founder of the once mighty MySpace and the first automatic friend that new users received when they created accounts on the service, found himself back in the Web’s spotlight on Wednesday evening, after commenting on the hot new social network of the moment, Instagram, and delivering a stinging rebuke to a follower of his Twitter account.
Anderson, 42 has been all but retired as a Web entrepreneur but remained active on other social networks since selling MySpace to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation (parent of Fox News and other properties) back in 2005, a fact which factored into the controversy Wednesday.
People keep asking, so I’ll say it: fear over Instagram’s terms change is ridiculous… Get real folks!— Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) December 20, 2012
In response, one of Anderson’s followers, a user under the account name “@polotapia,” tweeted: “says the guys that was not able to keep a social network alive.”
Anderson quickly shot back:
@polotapia says the guy who sold myspace in 2005 for $580 million while you slave away hoping for a half-day off— Tom Anderson (@myspacetom) December 20, 2012
Tech bloggers were quick to characterize the move as a “sick burn,” from Anderson, in the words of Jessica Roy New York Observer’s Betabeat, while Gizmodo’s Sam Biddle had a harsh indictment of Anderson’s retort, writing in part: “bragging about being rich [is] never cool. Making fun of people for having jobs is never cool.”
Anderson, for his part, took to another social network he has been regularly posting upon over the past two years, Google Plus, to further explain and defend his position. ” I rarely attack trolls… I mean who cares?” Anderson wrote in part, later broadening the incident to ask questions about the culture of Twitter itself, what he deemed “Twitter Social Research”:
“It seems like the tweets where I directly counter-attack someone do the best… This kinda reminds me of those backyard brawl videos on Youtube.
As Google+ users know, I’m generally a nice guy. I treat people how I want to be treated and mostly ignore people that insult me. Interesting that Twitter doesn’t reward that much… .:-/ Thoughts? Any folks on here who have bigger followings on Twitter than G+? It’d be nice to hear your thoughts.”
Indeed, to Anderson’s point about Google Plus users being familiar with his online persona, Anderson has racked up an impressive 4.2 million followers on that relatively new social network, where he regularly posts high-quality photos he’s taken and writes in descriptive detail about his travels around the globe.
The user who incurred Anderson’s wrath, by contrast, has since deleted his or her Twitter account and all of tweets, including the one involved in the controversy.