Tales of Twitter tyranny

There is a growing cacophony of voices on Twitter complaining about censorship. Here are some examples that I have gathered.

As I trawl through social media whilst on trains and in queues, I capture and keep items of interest. Over the last few weeks I’ve made an effort to note every time someone complains of being suppressed by the policies and actions of Twitter.

Individually these are all anecdotes, and may have an innocent explanation. Collectively, it looks like a lot of smoke billowing about — and an indication of a serious fire in the server room. What do you think?

Unauthorised unfollowing

  • @Sooboo16 — “Just saw your name and realized Tw had unfollowed you for my sake.”
  • @CPriestess — “@martingeddes wanted to let you know.  I was going through my “followers” and noticed that for some reason you got unfollowed by me.   Weird, but I didn’t do it.  I refollowed.  For the pictures of course….”
  • @catturd2 — “Twitter at it again … Unfollowing my followers 100s at a time without them knowing it.”
  • @Herbert_L_Reed — “?Found over 1200 MAGA/KAG Patriot followers (with 1000’s of tweets) temporarily restricted by Twitter. Yesterday was almost 4000! ?They can’t communicate & TWITTER unfollows EVERYONE they were following!!”
  • @ChatByCC — “I fear my twitter account is like the movie Groundhog Day. In the last several weeks I gain and lose approximately the same amount of follows. HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Answer: IT IS NOT POSSIBLE! It’s clearly being manipulated.”
  • @HTWells3 — “I have a small account and like clockwork they remove 20 followers daily. It’s all twitters algorithms fault I guess to remove conservative viewpoints.?”
  • @Justice4allCQ — “Wow. I’m literally watching my notification numbers diminish before my eyes. Went from 27 to 15 just now. Not nice @jack.”
  • @MerrittForGA — “Twitter has removed hundreds of my followers quietly – could it be because I’m a conservative combat vet candidate for Congress?”

Unauthorised blocks and mutes

  • @mwam1993 — “People check your acct settings everyday. You’ll be surprised to see who “you’ve” blocked and muted over night.”
  • @WWG1WGA1745 — “Assuming many who follow r getting this treatment. No longer following him AND he’s supposedly blocking me now. Yes Twitter, it is totally believable that Joe M, with over 100K followers, would block me, a nobody, for no reason.”
  • @BeThePlan — “Joe M never blocked any of you guys…that’s Twitter f***ery. He’s been suspended.”

Deleted tweets without permission

  • @SayWhenLA — “I just wrote three tweets in a row and they all vanished. Within a minute of posting. Nice, twitter ?very legal, very cool.”
  • @ScQanon — “Why when I’m reading over my news feed do tweets disappear? Or after I comment they disappear?”

Retweets removed without asking

  • @JBTonightShow — “Anybody else notice? You RT (like this tweet) and see later it has been Un Rt’d by Twitter?”
  • @lilycaliber — “Hmmm wont let me rt this. Playing funny numbers game. I hit rt and the # of tweets goes minus 1! Instead of add 1? Yeah right, come on twitter bots n zombies!”

Tweets hidden as “unavailable”

  • @ARRESTPODESTA — “definitely a new level of censorship occurring on Twitter by @jack right now.. these were comments posted months ago in response to my pinned tweet.. i was able to see them until yesterday..”

Quality filter suppression of tweets

  • @StormIsUponUs — “Apparently I’ve chosen not to see my own tweets. HEAVY censorship today.”

False “sensitive content” filtering

  • @StormIsUponUs — “Hey @TwitterSupport, all images I post since 2 days ago are now showing as “sensitive content” when they are NOT by any reasonable standard, as though I’m being CENSORED. Please can you restore this because it’s irregular and unfair.”

Targeted algorithmic throttling of accounts

Disallowing uploaded content

  • @YankeeTrading — “Twitter disallows my video uploads (a WEB PAGE – with Christian Psalms). The Vice Grip of Fascist Authoritarianism Has Descended.”

Gaslighting tweet text changes

  • @99freemind — “Is anyone else’s Twitter acting very strange? I’m typing replies and it is literally changing the words!”
  • @cjtruth — “How many of you are going back to posts and threads you put up and finding spelling errors that you did not put in originally?  Twitter totally messing with our posts and threads in a different way.”

Targeted remove of blue check mark

  • @salado4congress — “Twitter removed my blue check mark. Is it because I’m hardcore pro life & called out Disney, or is it because I said people shouldn’t say “ban guns” after a mass shooting.”

Refusal to verify accounts

  • @drawandstrike — “Oh hey @TwitterSupport :  1) I have over 130,000 followers 2) I’m a political pundit with regular columns & a published author 3) On YouTube videos based on my columns garnered almost 1 million views last month 4) I’m still not verfied”

Selectively hiding accounts in search

  • @StormIsUponUs — “Twitter has activated a number of suppression filters today: 1. 60% cut in feed visibility 2. Forcing of ‘sensitive content’ filter even with it turned off (pictured) 3. Auto-fill of @ handles in search requiring to type in full. 4. Significantly increased throttling.”
  • @webbdv — “Sister got a new phone was setting it up. She used to follow me. Couldn’t find me in search. Said user and sensitive content.”
  • @kayess44 — “Twitter is shadowbanning me from following Paul Serran. Here are the screenshots of me attempting to search his name & twitter handle. The only account I found was a fake Paul Serran…”

Arbitrary suspensions without due process

  • @okabaeri9111 — “Twitter restricted me again. ‘Violation of certain rule’? Vague.I don’t get it. If there’s something unusual about me, followers are increasing kinda fast I guess? Why is it bad?”
  • @robbystarbuck — “Update on @ladyinmedicine’s account: She finally received a notice today saying that she was found to be violating TOS by participating in targeted abuse. There’s no evidence attached or specific tweet cited. Let me tell you about her & tell you why Twitter’s acting like tyrants.”
  • @2runtherace — “I was locked out of my account for awhile today. I didn’t receive a message from Twitter as to why, but I’m thankful it’s back up and I’m not suspended again.”

Allowing denial of service attacks

  • @French__Mike — “Shills going private to waste comment sections.”

Unequal application of policy

  • @DuskToD4wn — “How many People can you think of that this RULE is blatantly disregarded for…  pls Rt with your choices.”