Claude Shannon created a device called the 'Ultimate Machine' : which wikipedia describes as follows
[a box with] a single switch on its side. When the switch was flipped, the lid of the box opened and a mechanical hand reached out, flipped off the switch, then retracted back inside the box.
ensure our the various news agencies get the chance of actually reporting important events happening in the real world from time to time ; I propose that the Social Media facility known as 'Twitter' be modified to resemble such an 'Ultimate Machine'.
This is how it works:
1. Any Twitter user can tweet a 'command' of the following format:
'off <time-in-days> <password>'.
2. Once such a tweet is received, the Twitter website will close-off all twitter feeds - replacing with a message "Twitter Suspended for x days"
3. The optional '<password>' argument is required to be an ASCII Armoured PGP-encrypted password.
4. If a command 'on <password>' tweet is received (from any tweeter) where '<password>' is the plain-text version of the previously given encrypted password - Twitter should switch back on.
5. If no command that meets the requirements is received within the 'time-in-days' argument, then the service should automatically resume in that time period.
6. If subsequent 'off' commands are received (even if the service is in the suspended state), then the 'resume date' should be updated and the new password would then be required. One caveat : (to employ some sense of fair-play: the original 'off' command can only be over-ridden by a different tweeter).