Please do not go yell at Twitter on my behalf; I have been playing with fire in the wake of the election and I admit that part of it was curiosity of what it would take to get burned. Play foolish games, win foolish prizes, and all that.
I don’t agree with Twitter’s rule that says wishing death or telling someone to die is a death threat; “go take a long walk of a short pier” or its more modern-day equivalent of “go die in a fire” are as much expressions of powerlessness as anything else.
Still, as much as I disagree with the rule’s logic, I am aware of it, and I was aware of it when I tweeted at Miles Taylor (a man responsible for both caging babies and for writing an anonymous op-ed about how he was one of the Adults In The Room trying to restrain the worse impulses of the Trump regime) that he could hold his breath and walk into the sea.
So that’s a fair cop. They got me there.
The other tweet they flagged is different. It reads as follows:
What course I wish his disease to take doesn't matter. As I've said multiple times today, I don't want him to die right now, but also as I've said multiple times today I -- unlike Trump -- am aware I cannot change reality by wishing it.
Which is ridiculous. It doesn’t wish harm on anyone. It also points out that wishing harm on someone is irrelevant, but it does that while pointing out that I have no idea what will happen to Trump and don’t want him to die. Given the age of the tweet (it was tweeted on October 2nd, when Trump was sick with covid) I assume somebody with a grudge was just searching for tweets that contained the word “Trump” and “die” and mass reported them.
As I write this, I’ve written an appeal for that tweet in particular but I’m mulling over just deleting it. If I delete it, then I get a countdown to begin my return to Twitter (after 7 days in timeout). If I don’t, then I have to wait for Twitter to read the appeal, and then… well, I mean, I only appealed one of them so presumably the 7 day countdown still begins after it’s cleared? I’m weighing the pros and cons of a set term of a week off of Twitter versus an indefinite, indeterminate period, especially given that Twitter is my biggest driver of revenue.
Having stated that… yeah, I think I’m going to cancel the appeal and just delete it. I don’t have much choice about taking a week off of Twitter, under the circumstances, but I don’t know that I can afford a longer sabbatical.
I hate that the way Twitter’s appeals process works basically punishes you for appealing, but, meh. Needs must when the devil drives.
In the meantime, I’ll make do. I’ll write my thoughts on the political situation here and while I can’t cross-post them to Twitter myself, I hope you my readers will do so.
My account is “limited” (read-only mode, can’t even change my profile or display name), not “suspended” (which is where none of my tweets would show up and my profile would be replaced with an Account Suspended message). From all outer appearances this means my account looks normal, just without anything new from me. Hence why I made an explanatory post here and asked people to crosspost it to Twitter to help get the word out.
I have no reason to believe animus or targeting from Twitter itself is involved. I have problems with the way Twitter is moderated but aside from my quibble about the one tweet I quoted above, this is all very par for the course and regular from them.
My account will be unrestricted exactly 7 days after I deleted the second “offending” tweet, which was almost exactly the same time this post was made, as I made the decision to drop the appeal while writing this post. So I’ll be back on active Twitter duty on the morning of Tuesday the 17th of November. During this interval, people can interact with my account normally, including following me.
I can use Twitter DMs, though Iam restricted to only sending messages to followers. I have temporarily opened my DMs, which are normally closed to people I’m not following. If you want to reach me through Twitter, I suggest following me before you DM, to ensure I can actually reply. I obviously reserve the right to close my DMs again if I get flooded with trolls or abuse or whatnot.
As some have asked over on Twitter how to support my efforts during this time, I have started a special promotion for the paid version of my substack: 50% off any new subscriptions from now through Tuesday the 17th. Whether you opt for an annual or monthly subscription, the special price is good for 12 months (if you subscribe while the special is running).
I’m also putting my PayPal tip jar below.