My 85 theses to get un-canceled from Twitter
Not to name-drop, but cancelation, suspension, and banning of tweeters from the popular mini-blogging platform hit quite a few in the rarified precincts of James Woods; Steve Bannon; and even the sitting president at the time, Donald J. Trump.
And though I was confused; annoyed; and finally, for months, furious at their peremptory action against my tiny account (President Trump had more than 70 million followers — quite an entourage to kick to the curb, Mr. Twitter Dorsey), I realized that, dust mote as I no doubt figure in the Twitterverse, by suspending my wee account "permanently," as they posted on my no-longer-active account, I was elevated to a threat, somehow. Else why anoint me with the penalties meted out to noted and notoriously famous conservatives?
Whether my frequent tweets — at least once or twice a day, when I was unsuspended — were acid-dipped in snark (guilty) or vanilla-mild in film, theatre, restaurant, museum, or lecture reviews (also guilty), I was suddenly gripped with the rage of someone wronged for no reason.
The "explanation" given me was none. I had somehow overstepped "the Twitter rules," though I never used any four-letter words, never threatened anyone, never sought to incite a threat against anyone, never advocated the many ills and pills of dictators, terrorists, and pedophiles, all of whom enjoyed free range on the social network.
Of course, I liked the chance to slough off my nightly fury at the numerous abuses we as a polity were sustaining under the current regime, which brooked no distance from their socialist and discriminatory agendas.
My friends didn't realize why I should care. After all, there was Truth Social, which permitted 500 characters of input, versus only 280 on Twitter. But Truth Social doesn't quite navigate as does Twitter, it gets far less traffic, and I couldn't seem to get traction as I did on the prior miniblog outlet.
As I got no answers at all as to why I had been suspended "permanently," only pro-forma bot replies saying my note would be "added to [my] case," I set about getting answers. And reversed back to online viability.
I wrote, yes, 85 appeals to the censors who blocked me. When Elon musk thankfully bought Twitter for the ginormous sum of 44 billion dollars, hope bloomed.
I kept appealing, protesting my removal, adding that my many reviews were helpful, and that my followers frequently reposted what I had tweeted. All true. One friend in middle America reposts nearly every tweet I pen.
But after eight months, and 85 attempts to correct their mistake or oversight or whatever in their ill considered judgment to silence me, I was suddenly the recipient of a note that "there was a mistake in the algorithm. You were mistakenly thought to be 'spam.' We are sorry for our error."
Not bloody likely. My tweets are scarcely confusable with milquetoast spam, whatever else they may be.
This was, as noted, after Musk had taken over the reins, fired hundreds from the leftist bloat that was the innards of Twitter, and restored many to their prior accounts. I no longer felt I needed to address the Twitterati censors as "Dear Stalinists," which always gave me a brief chuckle, though it may not have endeared me to their orisons of rank certitude.
A close relative remarked with his typical cynicism that there was something perhaps wrong with me for having taken the time to protest that many times. I signed up for Twitter in 2008 and felt it an important tension-reliever from the assaults of the day. It was a tiny anodyne short of psychopharmacological recourses, frankly.
And supine giving up to injustice is not where my DNA takes its coloration.
Only 85 appeals later, after the advent of Mr. Musk, I was restored to my 33,400 tweets, and my nightly solace of posting tweetery opinions, reviews, and political chinwag.
My followers and followed were restored a few days after I was.
Now back in commentary business, I'm able again to write icily on balloons, broken bridges, Buttigieg, and bidets.
It restores confidence in the inchoate wheel of justice that, though it grinds slowly, in this case, at least, ground back to acceptable.
What took Martin Luther in 1517 all of 95 theses to address his goal (admittedly more important than mine) was achieved by this author in only 85. How time economizes on the perseverant.
Image via Max Pixel.