Hello, friends. It’s your old pal TurdGuy.
Just wanted to tell you all how much I miss you, and explain where I went.
Incredibly, this was my final tweet:
It was the last tweet in an exchange with one of my good Twitter pals, who I won’t name because I couldn’t ask him if it was OK if I named him, because, well, I’m not on Twitter.
What follows is a quick description of what got me banned, to the best of my knowledge.
In late November or early December 2017, UF (unnamed friend) got suspended. UF had built a pretty big following taking jabs at the MAGA turds and mixing it up with them. On this particular occasion, he tweeted something that caught their ire, and they coordinated an attack, reporting not just his offending tweet, but also searching through old tweets and reporting anything that could be interpreted as a threat. There were old tweets of his that said things like “I’m gonna kill you,” which obviously sound bad without context, but were, in fact, directed at friends who were trying to own him online.
When UF got suspended, I made a joke that this would be a good chance to own him, while he couldn’t see it. The next day, he actually made a new account and responded to my joke. Here’s the exchange:
You can probably see where this is going. The joke, obviously, is that UF was trying to get me to say something threatening to him so he could get me suspended. My hilarious reply was a jpg image that said, in big block letters, “YOUR DEAD BITCH.” Twitter removes all your media files after you’re suspended, so in the screencap below it’s just a big blue box, but that’s what it said. The joke being, obviously, that I was evading the possibility of any sort of algorithm from seeing a threat... which shouldn’t have really mattered because I was joking around with a friend who was obviously not going to report my tweet.
And that was it. Within an hour, the account was gone and I never got it back.
For about seven months after that, I got by on a new account (@beautifulwomman) until they eventually came for that one, too.
I’ve had a few people reach out to me on Mastodon or through email and ask why I don’t just create a new account, and the answer is: I can’t. Twitter is using sophisticated software that tracks email addresses, phone numbers, IP addresses, and even follower/following fingerprints to automatically delete accounts it suspects are created to evade a ban.
As horrible and corrosive as Twitter is, I miss it. I had good friends on there that I don’t have any other way of interacting with. I am so much less informed, for better or worse.
And while it’s kind of nice to have at least an arm’s length from the political shouting, it’s left me in the dark a bit on the upcoming elections. There was a slew of local journalists and political people that I followed to help me stay informed on local politicians, local races, propositions, and measures. I’m so much less informed without those voices.
And, as a pretty regular concert-goer, I’ve missed concerts this year that I’m sure I wouldn’t have if I was still on Twitter. Not only was I used to getting reminders from bands and venues about shows, but I follow people specifically for their recommendations on new music.
And as a sports fan, I’m lost. I miss the updates about players getting called up and sent down, injuries, signings... all the little things that aren’t making headlines, but keep you in the loop as a fan. And I desperately miss the contingent of Padres fans whose humor is sometimes the only thing that makes following the team bearable.
But most of all, I miss the people. I miss you guys. As a somewhat private person, having people on Twitter who I “know” but don’t really KNOW was way more valuable than I realized, until it was gone. The world is impossibly awful and, while I have an incredible wife, family, and friends, there’s an added level of comfort in sharing the horror, anger, outrage, humor and love with people who I don’t really KNOW. It’s a nice reminder of how many good people are out there.
I miss it all. And I didn’t realize until Twitter was gone that it’s literally impossible to replace. I could bookmark 100+ sites and try to visit every one of those sites every day and still not see what I used to on Twitter. 90% of the things that used to appear in my feed were ONLY on Twitter. There simply is no substitute for it.
The worst part of all of this is that I still don’t know for sure why I’m not allowed on Twitter anymore. The exchange that I posted above was the last one before my suspension, so I can only assume that’s the reason, but I don’t know for sure. I have appealed the suspension, no joke, about 20 times. Each of the first 12 times I submitted an appeal I received an automated reply about 24 hours after the appeal simply saying that I had broken the rules against threatening users and that my account would not be restored.
I continued to appeal over and over because I believed that if, eventually, a human being saw my appeal, they’d realize that this was all just a misunderstanding and I’d be allowed back.
On the 13th appeal, I finally got a different (automated) reply. They asked me to explain in further detail why I shouldn’t be suspended. Keep in mind, they have still not told me, other than saying “threatening,” specifically what got me suspended. So I explained, pretty much exactly how I’ve explained it here. And about 24 hours after that appeal, I got the same old “your account has been suspended and will not be restored” reply.
I continued to appeal, and on a couple more occasions I got the “please explain in further detail” opportunity, but I could never get past that stage. I doubt any of my 20+ appeals have ever been read by a person.
So that’s where I am. I’d be lying if I said I’ve moved on and it doesn’t bother me. It bothers me that Twitter is so poorly policed that I’m forever banished but the guy who shot up a fucking synagogue couldn’t get himself banned despite legitimately threatening people’s lives.
Anyway, I hope you’re all having fun on there. Please get this trending and get me back on there. Ok thanks.