Maybe I'm just speculating here. I have no idea of the exact timing and background of events, but I have been wondering whether questioning Twitter contributed in any way to stirring up the hatred and death threats towards Kathy Sierra.
The point is that essentially, Twitter users have been conditioned to keep pressing the button, not because of their awareness of “social interaction” taking place, but through a lower level addiction response of “intermittent variable reward”.
So is it the case that certain people (“the haters”) would rather not admit that their wonderful social software is just another internet craze that is best explained using the psychology of addiction and gambling? Although Kathy in her post, defers to the opinion of her (mostly Twitterfied) readers, I think she is being too nice.
It's hard to find fault with her discussion of perception and Twitter, and she seems mostly correct when she talks about the ways people are tricked by their brains.
What I wonder, is that pointing out the emperor’s lack of clothing unleashed a massive emotional overreaction. People don't want to be told that their supposed consciously chosen behavior is actually driven by unconscious psychological forces.
A lot of people seem to want Twitter interaction to be valued as true social interaction, and they don’t want to be told that their feeling of connectedness is just a cognitive trick.