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Something fishy going on with Twitter?

Something fishy going on with Twitter?

This Monday, Twitter suspended several accounts belonging to a prominent Texas conservative organization, Empower Texans, its staff, and another conservative organization, AgendaWise, created by a former employee. The best part? They received no notice or explanation of the suspension. Here’s part of Empower Texans’ official response:

The Empower Texans team has never knowingly violated Twitter Rules, and have yet to receive any official notice or clarification of the action. Furthermore, a simple examination of our accounts clearly shows the Empower Texans team have not run afoul of Twitter’s guidelines. …

Individual Twitter accounts are suspended everyday for a litany of reasons only to be reinstated after a quick review. The fact that an organizational feed, along with the personal accounts of all those associated with the organization, were suspended at the same time is odd and raises concern. Even more so that they were suspended with no notice or warning.

I don’t like to jump to conclusions, but it’s definitely fishy that all six accounts related to Empower Texans were shut down on the same day. Empower Texans’ President Michael Sullivan (formerly @mqsullivan) says he suspects it’s just a glitch. Could be a group of liberal opponents decided to flood the account with spam reports. Either way, Twitter needs to respond. Three days have passed – eternity in the world of social media – and Twitter has yet to justify or explain the suspension.

Update 10:45 am: An account called @FreeMQS claiming to be Michael Sullivan has been created, which Sullivan himself confirmed is fake in a comment on this post.

Update 1:30 pm: Looks like the suspension is over. From Empower Texans’ website:

On Wednesday afternoon, Empower Texans / Texans for Fiscal Responsibility president Michael Quinn Sullivan received a vaguely worded auto-response-style message suggesting the suspension was due to unspecified violations of Twitter policies. However, we aren’t aware of any regular Twitter activities (tweeting, re-tweeting, etc) that we engaged in that in any way violate Twitter rules.


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Why we must have net neutrality rules, even though, ironically, that requires “anti-business” government regulation. Internet use and access cannot be left to the vagaries of private owners motivated by profit or ideology. A bullhorn on the street corner cannot compete with a radio or television station or the internet. Unlike the days when the greatest media imbalance was between the soapbox and a small circulation newspaper printed on the local rich guy’s press, “free speech” means little unless one actually has a platform from which to speak.

    publiuspen in reply to janitor. | July 21, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Government regulation of the internet? Oy. How many conservatives would be blocked then? Be careful what you wish for.

      Awing1 in reply to publiuspen. | July 21, 2011 at 9:21 am

      Net neutrality, in its actual form (not what Rush Limbaugh purports it to be) would never allow the government to block anyone, it primarily ensures ISPs do not arbitrarily block websites with whom they disagree. Some also argue it should block ISPs from selling premium access to websites, so if Target pays the ISP, Target’s website will load faster than Wal-Marts. Can’t say for sure which side I’m on, but it certainly makes sense.

        Joy in reply to Awing1. | July 21, 2011 at 9:25 am

        You might want to check into this a bit more….Rush is right

          Awing1 in reply to Joy. | July 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

          No bill that has been brought before either legislative body in Congress has included the measures Rush claimed they would. No one (besides a few unscrupulous conservatives working to detract the proposal) has argued that the law should actually force websites to post opposing views of a controversy, if for no other reason than that it would be technically impossible. The clips he played of one democratic staffer making the argument that in a perfect world, all news websites would state all sides of a controversy, conveniently left out the part where that same staffer said doing so by rule of law would be clearly unconstitutional and, as I have already said, technically unfeasible.

          Awing1 in reply to Joy. | July 21, 2011 at 9:57 am

          In fact, network neutrality is already the law in New York State, and you can read the entire text of it yourself. Please find for me in this law where Rush is right.$FILE/605.pdf

      Execellent response! Agree completely with you.

      janitor in reply to publiuspen. | July 21, 2011 at 9:26 am

      Unfortunately, sometimes there is no good alternative, and fortunately we have a First Amendment with regard to government regulation of content and in protection, particularly, of political speech.

    retire05 in reply to janitor. | July 21, 2011 at 9:32 am

    Net neutrality is nothing more than the old “Fairness” Doctrine. There is nothing neutral or fail about it. It is designed to shut down conservative talk shows.

    The government has no place in the press, the television media, the radio media or the internet. Our guaranteed right of free speech in the First Amendment doesn’t say “Unless the Democrats don’t like what you say.”

    Katie Thompson in reply to janitor. | July 21, 2011 at 10:22 am

    No, no, no, regulation is not the answer! Something like net neutrality would be far too easily abused.

      This is, of course, always my fear with regulation. However, I have yet to hear a credible way in which the most popular version of net neutrality (a simple rule preventing ISPs from blocking content without a legitimate reason) could possibly be abused, or for that matter, the second most popular version (a rule banning ISPs from selling hampering of access to websites). Would you be able to provide a scenario?

I would have to guess (or at least hope) that this is just a glitch. My girlfriend worked as a marketing manager for a franchisee of a relatively new national chain, and all of their accounts were shut down for a week and a half. After three dozen or so e-mails the service was restored, without explanation. Here’s to hoping the management of Twitter hasn’t become politicized.

Added thoughts… corporate conglomerate media control, Rupert Murdock, George Soros… the last presidential election… a old article still timely at NewsBusters

I have been battling with RealClearPolitics for two days over being banned by that site. I received a response from RCP linking there terms for user use. I asked them if part of their user use included letting members use the term “teabagger”, a sexual perjorative, against other members was part of their terms of use and was told that they strive for the highest of standards, but………….
people are still calling others “teabaggers”, and other such not-so-nice names at RCP and their responses remain. It seems that part of the “user” rules at RCP is you can bash/insult/slander someone who is conservative, but you get banned if you point out that person is being abusive.

The left has a lot to lose; a TEA Party coordination reported last month that FaceBook advised her that political “promotion” would no longer be allowed on FaceBook. Well, we all know where the owners of FaceBook stand, so they were just confirming a well known secret. You can bet that individuals/groups using FaceBook for “reelect Obama” goals (which is political) will be allowed to remain.

The war is on and the left has too much to lose (their first socialist president) so they will try to shut down anything that sheds a bad light on the worst POTUS since Carter (or possibly worse than Carter).

The issue is procedural due process. It does not exist in the internet. Ebay, paypal, twitter, lgf, americanthinker, etc — they do what they want to whomever they want without explanation or process for appeal. I’m not saying that non-government sites have a duty to provide due process, but it would be nice if leading sites established a standard that ultimately causes others to do likewise.

Janitor, you do not have the right to speak on someone else’s platform, any more than you have the right to eat someone else’s food, or break into his house to conduct church services. If you find speaking with only your own resources and those freely made available to you by others of their own good will, then shut up. Seizing someone else’s property so you can spread your message is unamerican and profoundly immoral, and it invalidates whatever message you use it for.