Banned: The Scarlet Letter of Social Invisibility

Twitter or more likely, one of Twitter’s bots, has unilaterally determined that I am permanently banned from its site. I already showed the ‘offending’ tweet, and wrote about my ambivalence. I appealed the ban and received an automated response:

Your account has been suspended and will not be restored because it was found to be violating the Twitter Terms of Service, specifically the Twitter Rules against participating in targeted abuse.

So I am weighing the merits of appealing again. I’ve been told by others who’ve experienced this injustice that all one can do is slam them with appeals. Perhaps one appeal will be read by an actual human. Perhaps that human will possess reasoning abilities. One never knows what goes on behind the curtain that Jack Dorsey has drawn around his operation.

I’ve also noticed that a lot of people have been “suspended” from this site. Over at Reddit, the Twitter board is packed with people like me – kicked off for stupid reasons and getting no recourse from the Twitter bot gods who toss your account to the gutter and then reply with an impersonal email that repeats the alleged violation.

One such victim really caught my attention. She’s a teacher who used a banned hashtag that caused the Twitter bots to automatically suspend her for 12 hours. Sounds incredulous but apparently true. If ever I decide to resume teaching, a Twitter account is a necessity. That will be impossible, says the Twitter bot. And my previously active account for that purpose was deleted by Twitter. So this is more than ostracism from”social” media, it could impact my ability to teach and earn money.

What galls me is that my entire experience has been expunged from the site, effectively wiping away my online identity as if I am a baneful plague equivalent to Jacob Wohl or Roger Stone. That really ticks me off. It’s like wearing a scarlet letter around your neck. But equally angering is the fact that I did not violate their erratically applied Terms of Service.

For now, I’ll continue to eavesdrop. Twitter generously lets me view tweets but forbids my interaction. It’s a screwy process where I have to click on accounts or type in keywords rather than view my timeline. But it’s a peek.

And I’ll continue to write my blogs, hoping that friends will disseminate my posts. I no longer have that ability either.

I will sleep on another appeal. Maybe I’ll send an email to Jack Dorsey. Then again, perhaps I will just continue with my life, free from the daily rage of seeing a tweet by John Barron.

To all my Twitter friends and DM buddies – I miss you.

3 Comments

  1. Grace, I’ve been retweeting your posts and Shannon and Psis have done same. This is frustrating. I’m in Texas and flying home Thursday. Will catch up with you afterward. We miss you, too.

    Liked by 1 person

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