Every day, there's at least one tweet in my Twitter feed denouncing AT&T and its signal woes. And now, according to a new report from MIT's Technology Review, AT&T is tracking Twitter complaints with internally developed software. The program tracks posted tweets in real time and records the time and location (if enabled) of each tweet, mapping where the failure occurred and cross-referencing customer support calls and other complaints.
Find out how the Twitter crawler works when you read more.
The software works by first pulling all tweets related to AT&T, then narrowing them down to include only tweets pertaining to service issues. And according to an AT&T researcher, this type of information-gathering is much more effective than traditional customer service calls — often Twitter will alert AT&T to a problem 20 minutes faster than other methods.