Twitter Banned Me
Straight outta left field
On October 16th, 2022 - I (Henry) got my Twitter account permanently suspended with no reason given. My two guesses as to why are:
Someone who didn’t like what I was saying mass-flagged the account
Twitter flagged the account as suspicious for the privacy precautions I was using when engaging with the platform
I don’t think we’ll never know why the account was suspended, but the effect is the same: It was a massive wakeup call that we need to have more independence. If YouTube & Twitter shut down our accounts, we would instantly lose access to hundreds of thousands of our people in our community! This is not a risk we want to take for ourselves, and especially for the people relying on us for their privacy & security journey.
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A quick timeline
A week leading up to the suspension, Twitter was mysteriously hiding my tweet responses in threads - even to my tweets. This means if I tweeted a 3-tweet thread, people could only see the top tweet with no indication there were two more tweets.
I never contacted Twitter support, and on the 16th of October I received an email from a follower of mine asking what happened to my account. When I logged in, the following prompt was the only indicator I had received that something happened to my account:
So what now?
Well, there’s really nothing that can be done. I have filed an appeal, though I’m not terribly sure how or what to appeal given Twitter never explicitly told me what rules I broke. Time will tell if any action is taken. With that said:
I have powered full-steam ahead to finish our long-term goal of having a central blog & newsletter (what you’re reading right now!)
I have migrated everything for both myself and Techlore to be Mastodon-first, with the Techlore Twitter (not yet banned) simply being a mirror for Mastodon. If it gets banned too - then sobeit.
Everything in our communities, website, channel, etc. now points to our Forum, the Dispatch, Mastodon, & Discord. Of these, only Discord we don’t have control over.
I put out a video covering this journey to alert our YouTube subscribers of what happened:
A Thank You!
I wanted to send some massive thank yous during this ordeal:
I want to thank the several people who instantly noticed my account disappeared and reached out to ask what was happening. It means a lot to see so many of you care about the stuff that’s being worked on back here.
I want to thank all the people expressing support. It’s not a huge deal, it’s literally just Twitter. But the thoughts and the number of you who are showing your support means a lot.
My team, particularly Jonah who helped decide how to pivot from this and form our own platform to communicate with our audience.
I’ve received a lot of questions about this, so this section will represent strictly my personal answers to them:
‘Was this caused by the libs?!’
No I don’t think so.
‘Was this caused by the conservatives?!’
No I don’t think so.
‘Was this caused by Elon Musk?’
No I don’t think so.
‘Will Elon Musk unban you?’
How should I know? I’m not counting on it.
‘Are you being censored for XYZ?’
I don’t believe so, no. I find it more likely that Twitter’s moderation is terrible than this being any kind of personal issue with my beliefs, especially since I’m not tweeting very outlandish things.
‘Why keep the Techlore Twitter open at all?’
Because we have over 10,000 followers who may utilize the platform for updates on what we work on. It costs us almost no energy to mirror Mastodon to Twitter, so I can’t think of a good reason to delete the account.
‘What if Twitter re-opens your account?’
To be honest, I was already considering removing the account before this, and that was part of the reason I opened my 'pseudo-personal’ Mastodon a few months ago. I’m keeping the account open to just see if Twitter brings it back, and if they do - I’ll probably just mirror my Mastodon to Twitter (like we’re doing with Techlore)
And a general comment towards everyone shouting ‘MUH First Amendment’ - Twitter has every right to ban whoever the hell they want from their platform. The first amendment doesn’t guarantee you a voice on a private company’s website - and that includes mine.
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