Many of you who know me either in person or through my writings know that I adore Twitter. I’ve repeatedly stated that by light years it’s the most effective medium I’ve ever used from the standpoint of reaching individuals and organizations I very much want to reach. It’s also great for challenging users to express themselves pithily.
So imagine my surprise early this afternoon to have found out that my Twitter account has been “suspended”!
This action could be a simple mistake. (After all, like all the major social media platforms, Twitter deals with huge numbers of users.) But the timing (the day of some major Trump impeachment hearings) does look a little fishy.
Of course, one of the more frustrating aspects of this incident is that there’s no way for me to find out Twitter’s reasoning yet – assuming I was suspended “for cause.” Nor is it possible for me to identify any accusers, either who work for Twitter or not. And I may never find out. It’s also noteworthy that the suspension wasn’t preceded by a warning of any kind. One minute, I was a tweeter in good standing, and the next, sentenced as a bad actor and silenced.
The platform does permit users to appeal suspensions, and the process includes an opportunity for me to plead my case. (I’ve done both.) But apparently it’s up to me to prove my innocence – not the other way around, as is the case with virtually the entire American legal system (the IRS appeals process being a notable exception).
Thanks to the telephone and email, I’ve been able to spread the word to some friends, colleagues, and other contacts, who have begun to question the decision on Twitter and via other media. If anyone reading this would like to do the same, I’d be very grateful.
Nothing I’ve ever tweeted has been any more profane, ad hominem, knowingly false, or otherwise offensive than anything I’ve written here – or anywhere else. And like I said, maybe the software just messed up. But if not, my suspension (however brief or long) would raise some serious questions about how much longer Twitter and other platforms should be permitted, without any regulation or even simple accountability, to play such an increasingly dominant role in the national and global public squares. And yes, I’ll pass on word of any new developments as soon as I get them. (Unless I’m subjected to a gag order???)