Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Not to be cheered by praise, Not to be grieved by blame, But to know thoroughly ones own virtues or powers Are the characteristics of an excellent man.
- Saskya Pandita, Tibetan Grand Lama of Saskya (1182-1251)

Well wouldn’t you know it? Just as soon as I finished creating a helpful public service announcement on what will and won’t get you suspended on Twitter, I end up getting suspended that very same day.

What was my offense? Well, there were six people whose tweets I featured in that post, so I sent off a single tweet to let them know about their being featured at my blog. It seemed only fair to inform them of their newfound fame, but somehow, there must have been enough crying and complaining between the six of them to where I was given a Twitter timeout.

Twitter is quite fair about it with your first suspension, all you have to do is read the relevant bit of their Terms of Service Agreement and sign off on your understanding of the rules and you’re automatically reinstated. In the process, however, you go from your Twitter starting point of being on probation to being on double-secret probation. Now you’re just one more suspension away from looking at some serious time in the TwitterGulag.

Considering how many millions of tweets are sent daily by people hoping to catch the eyes and maybe even a reply from a celebrity who certainly doesn’t follow them, unsolicited tweets abound all over Twitter, so it’s a pretty nebulous thing to try to define which should be punished, but I think there’s an even larger problem with Twitter’s report spam feature itself, which can be seen as a perfect example of a case where the cure is often worse than the disease itself.

The process of suspensions for spamming is automated and the algorithm does factor in the type of the account that’s being reported so the hammer will come down a lot quicker on a newly created account with no followers than it will come down on an account with a healthy ratios of followers, but the fact still remains that the process is automated, making it rife for abuse and it can only be appealed to a human being after the suspension goes into effect.

And just as surely as every dictator in the world is leftist, so are all the little despots on Twitter who band together to abuse the report spam feature to suspend and silence the voices of those with whom they disagree. The worst of it is, they don’t even feel the need to be clandestine about it, tweeting it out openly as they call on their minions to all pile on with a deluge of false spam reports. They collaborate on these campaigns right out in the open, as they did most famously against Chris Loesch, who was guilty of nothing more than defending his wife against some vile and disgusting comments.

The problem is widespread enough and has gone on for so long as to bring some conservatives to the point of debating whether they should “go nuclear” and use the same tactics of false spam reporting against liberals. Let’s hope conservatives never descend to that level, however. Free speech should reign and TwitterGulag is full enough as it is.

It’s annoying to see tweets on your timeline with links peddling herbal weight loss remedies or MLM / get rich quick schemes, and I think most people appreciate that Twitter has a mechanism for dealing with it, but in my book, a bunch of cybergeek thugs banding together to silence dissent is far more abhorrent than having to skip your eyes over the occasional spam. If there’s a hammer for the spammers, there should be a hammer for the false-flaggers as well.

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ewok-walk
               

14 Responses to Speaking of Suspensions . . .

  • I’ve been registered on Twitter for quite some time but only got active a couple weeks before first debate.

    I had heard so much about and was excited.

    Then I learned about the Twitter “gulags” and couldn’t believe what I was reading. For all the hype the left gives “choice” and “freedom of speech”, there is no group more tyrannical when it comes to views and speech they don’t agree with than hard core libs.

    In the Founder’s day they were the Torries, defending King George and would have been tarred and feathered for such anti-American views.

    We have certainly crossed de Tocqueville’s tipping point with this past election. The only question left is can we tip back?

    Take care and KFTGF!

    • you were doing welll until:
      ‘And just as surely as every dictator in the world is leftist

      thats absurd…here is a list of NON-leftist dictators:

      http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article2844.htm

      Brian

      • In the Cold War, a quote from Truman was, “They may be sons of bitches, but they’re our sons of bitches.” We allied ourselves with so-called “right-wing” dictators because those sons of bitches were better than the alternative communist sons of bitches. To take just one example from your list, Pol Pot was a straight up commie, but viewed as preferable to a Vietnamese-backed government.

        While it’s an interesting and comprehensive list of all the thugs we’ve backed in our history, I wouldn’t call them right-wing just because we found those dictators preferable to the alternative. Think of Saudi Arabia and the freedom-crushing monarchy over there – definitely not right-wing, but because oil is the life blood of our economy, we cannot survive without friends in the region.

        Hitler and the Nazis are the worst case of this mistaken “right-wing” label slapped on history’s dictators. The one reason liberal historians have been able to perpetrate the lie that the fascists were right wing was because they allowed many big businesses to survive and continue operating, but they were completely subject to the government, as were all aspects of German life, including the first implementation of national health care – definitely not right-wing.

  • Mike, TwitterGuLag is a big frustration of mine. I agree with you, would rather have real Free Speech, and deal with a few people trying to sell us something. I really hoped that Twitter would put a stop to the unfair suspensions once the Presidential election was over. It is very obvious that Twitter, FaceBook, etc. are big supporters of BHO, and they apparently will do whatever they can to support him until he is long gone. I don’t see anything improving, this country is pretty evenly split and neither side can talk and reason any more. Geoff is right about the tipping point, fear there is no ‘tipping’ back, de Tocqueville and our Founders told us this day would come.

  • Thanks for the heads-up Mike. I am often Mentioned and it scares me a bit. The truth is seldom appreciated by those prefer a lie. Liberals, Muslims and even some Conservatives have blinders on or have an agenda that would change America into a global state. Agenda21.

  • The agents from Twitter took me into custody at 12:54pm today.

    I have been put on a train to the TwitterGulag.

    #FreeMCJazzBass

  • Heh. They got me yesterday.

    I was watching some tweets from Gaza by the BBC correspondent who is a supporter of Hamas. I responded to him and to several other tweeters who were whining about “the children” the the IDF was injuring and killing. I replied with a simple statement “You mean these children…” and attached a picture of a Islamist kid who’d been dressed up by his parents in a bomb vest. Apparently the butchers didn’t like it.

    I’m setting up a new gmail account for a new Twitter address for times like those.

  • Hey Mike, we are pulling for you! Trying to bring attention to your blog & Twitter Gulag. Hope they revoke suspension soon! Hang in there friend

    @annainsd

  • Well, we can certainly agree on this issue. Left, right, middle (me) it doesn’t matter. An attack on one person’s speech is an attack on all of us.

    “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it” – Evelyn Beatrice Hall

    A couple ideas to keep this from happening again:

    Don’t know the exact verbage you used in tweeting them, but maybe make it more obvious that it’s because you mentioned them in a post. I’ve been known to nearly report people when particularly sick of spammers just for seeing a link in a tweet and not even paying attention to content.

    See if they have a blog somewhere and use pingbacks/trackbacks when you post. Probably a more effective way to let them know.

  • OK Mike, I’ll put a couple tweets out there and will send this out as well. Let’s get you out of there. And you know, I have to disagree with you by saying maybe it’s time we stop being so nice and get some LIBS suspended. Their unsolicited tweets responding to our stuff is actually very vulgar. They deserve to be taken down for a change. In the meantime, let’s get you out of there quickly!

  • Thanks for all the love and support, y’all. 24 hours later, they let me loose!

    WOO HOO!

  • Hi
    welcome to the world of Franz Kafka.
    mine was a newly created account(about 2 days old), i had begun to follow some people(5) nad tweet on issue, when yesterday i got my first suspension! I read it and did what i needed to get back online, Thinking i was being more careful, and now more fearful of treading on eggshells, i was suspended again and permanently….THis interestingly happened after a i got an unsolicited abuse from a fellow id never tweeted to or heard of.
    That was the straw that broke the camels back. Ive written an irate letter to twitter andf posted a round on some boards seeing this is an ongoing problem: re ‘algorithms designed to remove spam are removing honest users!
    Twitters rules on spam and anything look absurd and byzantine…a simple defn of spam i is repetition over and over to disrupt communication….But that implies an algorithm can read intention…someone copying and pasting, or just posting quickly is not spam as theres no intention.
    As with Face(less)book, the human element is little seen…. treated like a criminal for the crime of communicating, afraid of walking for stepping on a rule, someone at twitter needs to rethink their whole operation
    regards and disgusted with twitter
    brian

    • I agree 100%. Unfortunately, I think Twitter is now so embedded in our culture that they hold all the cards, and us common folk who are getting muzzled for simply speaking our minds can be squashed by Twitter without any real recourse.

      I had a very modest following of 2,500 followers, but I built that following one by one, those who did follow were obviously fine with my daily tweets linking to my latest blog post. Every day, I’d gain more followers than unfollows and those who did unfollow were never tweeted to again.

      Now I’m permanently banned for “updates consisting mainly of links,” which is the first time this was mentioned after my original suspensions.

      The glaring question here is, how is that punishable when the people I was tweeting made their own personal choice to follow me and continue following me?

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