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They Took My Twitter Away
As of this morning, it appears that I am permanently banned from Twitter. When you used to get suspended, you’d get a little thing that showed the offending tweets and then gave you a chance to appeal. They won’t tell me what tweets I did got me banned and when I apply to appeal I instantly get this message back:
Whatever happened to free speech in this country, huh?! Now, I would like to say that I am being censored because of my harsh criticisms of Elon Musk, but I don’t think that’s actually the case.
My friend Jamelle Bouie and I think it’s because I did a thread of tweets about a guy who was showing up at an elementary school bus stop with an AR-15 as a “protest.” One of the tweets said something to the effect of “If I was a gun-owning parent of a child at this school, I might be tempted to shoot this guy, which goes to show you that this ‘an armed society is a polite society’ stuff is bullshit.” As I elaborated in the thread, my point was that the presence of a lot of guns around makes violence more—not less—likely and an armed society was basically tantamount to dissolving our social bonds. But a bad faith or stupid reading of the tweets might be construe them as calling for violence. If one was inclined to use such rhetoric, one might say that it was a little bit Orwellian to ban someone for inciting violence when they were actually calling for banning guns! I think it’s likely some right-wing accounts who didn’t like me to begin with saw an opportunity there to get me tossed.
In any case, I’m a little ambivalent about this. On the one hand, it was sort of an important way for me get my writing out there and grow my readership for this newsletter, which constitutes the main part of my livelihood. But Substack links have been throttled by the algorithm, so I wasn’t getting that many new readers from Twitter anyway. Twitter also does not always bring out the best in me. Recently, I was getting into a lot of petty conflicts on there. As I’m trying to finish my book, having a respite from it is not the worst thing. So, unless something turns around soon, so long Twitter!
I do have to ask people a favor, though: If you enjoy my writing, please consider sharing it on Twitter or other platforms or consider signing up for a paid subscription. Not only does that help make up for the loss of growth from Twitter, it actually helps grow my platform on here: if you are a top writer, Substack will suggest your publication to more people.