So, I was planning to write a blog post (at some point) all about the twitter suspensions and how I think they are problematic. Suspending accounts is sort of like killing a couple hornets. You run the risk of just pissing off the hive. Also, there is a real danger of rampant suspensions interfering with the market-place of ideas. Though, I agree that there is no absolute inalienable right to a platform; if the few platforms that are widely used are policed strictly by a centralized authority – this can be a real problem for those using the platform for political purpose.
This is one of the reasons I support the Block Bot, as it has the potential to be a solution where abusive or annoying accounts can be more easily avoided; while those accounts largely remain intact. Obviously, not everyone agrees with what is considered “abusive and annoying”.
How would the atheist community react, for example, if accounts that “hurt religious sentiments” were systematically suspended? Considering I have friends in Bangladesh who are atheist, I am well aware of that.
We’re on the same side here.
But however much I should have the right to draw Muhammad, I do not have ethical justification to plaster the local mosque with pictures of him.
I understand the appeal and benefits of “rude” spaces, and have experience navigating them. However, I’m ideologically opposed to exposing others to alarming or hurtful words or images against their consent.
For example, the phrase “go kill yourself” is something that many people may not want to hear and may be tangibly harmful to them to read over and over again. It makes sense to create spaces where people can interact with others and socialize and become involved in political causes online without being continually subjected to that.
I’m not sure how many times I have to say this – or others have to say this – but the Block Bot admins have absolutely no control over Twitters suspension algorithms nor do they have control over whether or not accounts are reinstated.
We’ve tested new accounts to confirm this – the Block Bot has been shown to block (it does not spam block) and not cause suspensions of those accounts. Twitter (who does not share their suspension algorithms with the Block Bot team) assures us of this as well.
However, recently several accounts have been suspended. Some of these have been placed on Block Bot block lists while others haven’t. The Block Bot admins have provided information that refutes the idea that the Block Bot is responsible; but certain people (very angry people) are convinced that the Bot was involved.
The only theory that might remotely make sense, is that some accounts are being targeted by Twitter somehow and therefore are much more prone to suspension than others. If this is the case, and the Block Bot blocks are causing suspensions for those accounts – that is not okay – and Twitter needs to fix that.
We do NOT want the Block Bot to suspend accounts. As far as we know, and have been told, it does not.
Regardless of all of this, a particular person has decided to target me personally. (Other blockers are being targeted even more harshly.) I’ve tried to reason with her and explain that her anger is misplaced and that actions and threats against me are counterproductive, but she has decided to persist.
She wears a Guy Fawkes mask and is attempting to essentially blackmail me with publicly available information.
I find this particularly disheartening since I grew up in the 80’s. I remember a day when the young people, due to a marked skill gap in technical knowledge, had a level of subversive power. My friends did for fun, what the older folks simply could not grasp. A friend I knew from college was raided by the authorities and his computer confiscated – when he was a teen. I have no idea what he was up to, but I certainly was impressed. This has given me a romantic ideal of the ethical hacker – as a balance to authority – as a means to wrestle power from the calcified kyriarchy.
So, this is what we’ve been reduced to.
(quick note: Arguably, the person doing the command could delete the tweet and someone could delete the storify. The BB account doesn’t tweet anything right now (silly me). However, we aren’t deleting anything.)
So, I’ve heard rumblings of something “big” and “disgusting” going to happen. So far, there is just a bunch of trolls saying nasty things to my friends and cryptic messages on her facebook page further doxxing me. At this point, I’m entertaining the notion that this person is not being sincere at all. At first, I was convinced that she was filled with justifiable anger and she was passionately sticking up for her friends. She was simply lashing out at me, because (unlike Twitter admin) I am willing to interact with her and, to her, it appeared as though I was involved.
I suspect now (just going by which pictures she chooses to use) that she may be the person behind an account, that was never put on the Bot, that I accused of lying by omission concerning the suspicious suspensions. Unfortunately, I do not have her side of the conversation, since the account has since been suspended.
She absolutely did not say (in that exchange) anything the least bit abusive. I personally have no idea what-so-ever why that account was suspended.
At this point, the best theory I have is that she has some sort of personal vendetta against one of us and is opportunistically manipulating others into her own personal shit-storm.
That would certainly make more sense than if she actually cared about the suspensions. Right now, when we could be making a united front to Twitter about how suspensions are handled and perhaps convincing them to reinstate accounts, we’re doing this thing.
So yeah, that’s what we’re doing right now.
Apparently, these days, the symbols of truth-to-power are busy blackmailing people by mentioning the names of their co-workers and finding (not even entirely accurate) information through googling.
Well – fuck you all for shitting on what my generation built and putting the last nails into the coffin of the romantic ideals of the ethical hacker.
If those who actually care about that history want to reclaim it – you can jump in at any time. Because some script kiddie bully is calling herself “Hacked” and embarrassing y’all.