A few days ago, Twitter informed me they’d blocked me because I tweeted a fact-check article that said the story being shared on social media about mail-in ballots being found in a California landfill is false. I challenged them because I disagreed with their decison.
Here is the exact headline I used, as copied from the offending tweet:
Viral Image Falsely Claims To Show Unopened 2020 Mail-In Ballots In A California Dumpster
I didn’t link this headline to any article in this post. If you want, you can copy that headline and search for it, as I did. I found articles that came up, confirming what I had tweeted was true in USA Today, MSN, Checkyourfact.com, and other places, including my original source, mediabiasfactcheck.com.
Twitter doesn’t agree. They say that I violated their guidelines. Here’s their copied response from the email.
Thank you for your patience as we reviewed your appeal request for account, @mwseidel1, regarding the following:
Our support team has determined that a violation did take place, and therefore we will not overturn our decision.
You will not be able to access Twitter through your account due to violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically our rules around:
In order to restore account functionality, you can resolve the violations by logging into your account and completing the on-screen instructions.
The Twitter mediocrity, sorry, bureaucracy, has made their decision. You can tell by the details included in their form letter that it was tediously thorough. They cited the violation — oh, wait, no, they didn’t.
Well, that doesn’t matter. They did cite the rule that I violated, so that I may look it up and learn my lesson from this incident, as I couldn’t find it when I checked their rules and guidelines before. The relevant rule is:
Well, they left that blank, too.
Surely, then, Twitter’s decision strikes me as a thorough, totally impartial, fair, and intelligent decision. Yes, that’s snark. They obviously did nothing of the kind and revealed how little their standards mean, as they couldn’t be bothered with citing anything. I’m too much of a peasant account for that.
In view of this response of theirs, I thought about my response. Should I waste more time fighting it? No, just delete it and go on. Sadly, Twitter’s decision is about the norm for customer service and modern organizations: damn capricious and with little thought.
I do keep in mind, however, that others who retweeted what Trump said often have their accounts locked for using Trump’s exact words, while Trump’s original tweet is just labeled with a mild warning.
As always, Twitter — like other organizations — speaks to power with one standard, and sneers at people like me, truly the mark of a wonderful corporate citizen and a worthwhile part of the social landscape. Sorry, more snark. Just couldn’t be helped. Their response just asks for it.