Just after midnight on Monday morning, Twitter locked my account for spreading “misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”
Yikes! What “misleading” and “harmful” information had I shared?
I cited an NPR/Ipsos poll that found 51% of Republicans believe vaccines may cause autism.
Of course, vaccines don’t cause autism. I know this, as does every scientifically literate person.
My tweet was the second in a thread showing an alarmingly high percentage of Republicans believe preposterous falsehoods.
Clearly, I shared this information not to encourage others to believe these ludicrous lies, but to alert people to the fact that a disturbing percentage of GOP voters believe those falsehoods.
My obvious intent evidently eluded the obtuse, hamfisted Twitter moderator who locked my account.
Trump’s false tweets merely get labeled; his account doesn’t get locked, because Twitter values his millions of followers.
But little old me, with just 11,000 followers, is guilty until proven innocent.
Of course, I appealed first thing Monday morning. In the tiny text box, I explained that Twitter was punishing me for sharing factual poll data with links to the original source material.
Twitter replied with an automated response:
So, my account remains locked until Twitter finds time to review my appeal.
How long does that take? Twitter promises to review appeals “as soon as possible.” How soon is that? Soon can mean 36 days. Or longer.
Probably longer, since Twitter’s “support team is experiencing some delays the reviews and responses right now.”
Twitter frankly telegraphs the hopelessness of appeals by encouraging me to “just delete” my tweet to unlock my account.
Of course, that’s tantamount to an admission of guilt, which is problematic since Twitter’s initial locked account message warned that “repeated violations may lead to a permanent suspension of your account.”
As a political historian, I mostly tweet about politics and history, so it has bit to have my account locked the week Georgia Senate runoffs determined control of Congress and rioting Trumpsters stormed the Capitol while Congress bizarrely debated whether to accept Electoral College results.
So, of course, I hereby surrender. I’ll be cancelling my appeal to unlock my account.