Call to Action: Defining My Conservatism!


Friends, please listen up. I’m trying to find a way to help an online friend.

A guy named Tim who runs a blog called “Defining My Conservatism” crossed my path recently. We followed each other and stuff. We had some engaging interactions and I consider him to be a kindred spirit in the political world, although we reside on different sides of the proverbial aisle.

I just got word from our mutual friend Cathy that his twitter account @myconservatism has been suspended, apparently because of a one word tweet about Obama.

Apparently some people are “flagging” twitter accounts. Not because they did anything to break the rules but merely because they expressed an opinion different than their own. I find this sort of thing repugnant. If this world was only populated with people who had the same opinion as me I’m sure some would still find a way to call the other 99% assholes.

This is my plea. This is my call-to-action. Do what you can in the name of friendship and the American way. Do it because you’re my friend. Do it because you hate me. I don’t care why, really, but if you feel so motivated, anything you can do to help will be appreciated. I don’t care what side of the aisle you are on. I hope you’ll agree that this sort of thing should not be allowed to happen.

  • Visit the Defining My Conservatism blog and express your support.
  • Tweet and mention @myconservatism and express your support. I’m told it helps if you also mention @support and @twitter in your tweet.
  • If you know any way to help a person who has had a Twitter account suspended, please comment below and let me know. I’ll pass it along to Tim.

We shouldn’t attempt to shut down voices simply because they disagree with our own point of view. We’re supposed to have freedom of speech in this country. It’s supposed to be a pretty special and unique kind of thing. What happened to Tim was portrayed to me as a thing done by progressives against conservatives, but I’ll bet its more bipartisan than that. Whatever. Either way it’s wrong and needs to stop.

Thanks for whatever you can do!

23 responses

  1. As of 10 a.m. CDT, June @MyConservatism was still suspended. Some people think that you actually have to have said something offensive to get suspended, but there are groups of people who have discovered that because of the way Twitter has set up its flag account system it doesn’t take much to automatically suspend an account of a person they disagree with, particularly of accounts of those who have a small number of followers. Once you have been suspended, you have little recourse. As far as I know, Twitter doesn’t punish the flaggers, either, but I could be wrong. It’s all intended to stifle free speech. The phenomenon is called Digital Brownshirting, #twittergulag and #twitmo.


    1. Interesting. I never heard of this phenomenon. Strange how easy it is to play Twitter that way. I’d almost think this sort of thing would have been going on for years, unless the flawed suspension system is new or recently discovered.

      I have to say, though, I’m sorry I made the mistake of following the twitchy link. I despise sites with such blatantly partisan crap written on them. As soon as an author starts saying “Liberals this” or “Conservatives that” my eyes glaze over. It’s too easy (and lazy) to lump all liberals or conservatives (or any group) together, but it serves no purpose other than to divide and alienate, or maybe let people who think alike wallow in their little clique-bubble.


      1. Sorry about the link, but it was the only one that explained the phenomenon that I could find that also showed some actual tweets. Sadly, too, these kinds of online attacks are not often covered in the mainstream media. You wouldn’t have discovered it without these partisan sites, unfortunately. That’s why so many people seem unaware of a lot of what’s going on.


      2. The tweets were the best part!

        This whole thing seems so bizarre to me, mainly that Twitter is designed to make it so easy to mess with another person’s account for no good reason, but also that people are spending their time messing with another person’s account!


        When I have more time, I may look into this a bit. If nothing else, I can add my voice to those who are contacting Twitter about what appears to be a loophole in their design.

        Thanks for your informative comments, by the way!


      3. I strongly suspect this sort of thing is not as partisan as it is made out to be. You hear a lot of cons say things like, “Only leftists do XYZ” or other blanket statements. It can get me going, including the use of the word “leftists” itself.

        I think “We good, they bad” thinking is extremely detrimental to all sorts of things and wildly inaccurate. Most people in politics, I think, usually sincerely care about what is best for our country although they may be overly motivated about #1, too. A lot of decisions get made based on the “Is this good for me?” criteria. But, overall, I think both sides are more similar than they are dissimilar. We’re all just people, any the ways we really different pertain more to opinion than anything else.


  2. Tom! Dude, thank you for the article. Latest update… I haven’t been reinstated yet. I have opened two tickets so far. First was “closed” by about 3:00 am eastern time this morning, saying that I somehow was caught up by an automatic spam rectifier. Also said, they are going to reinstate me within the hour… Nope, not yet.

    I opened the second ticket a few minutes ago, and it has also been “closed” by their support. The second closure came with an email that was almost identical to the first, so I’m pretty sure I was botted into believing things would be fixed. I just checked my Twitter account again, and still not up.


    Thanks again for the blog entry.



    1. When I opened my Twitter page, I was so shocked when I saw your Twitter account was suspended. I saw that the campaign to reinstate you was underway, but I knew Tom could help marshal the troops. He’s got skillz!


    2. You’re welcome! This sort of thing gets me going. Twitter is going to have to find some way to rise above the level of the Craigslist “rants and raves” section. If you want to see the ugliness of humanity that’s the place.


  3. Tim Strickland | Reply

    Reblogged this on Defining My Conservatism and commented:
    Tom B Taker, an online friend of mine, posted the blog below for which I am extremely indebted. Thank you, Tom… Please visit his left-leaning blog for a balance to the opinions expressed on mine.


  4. Being a Twitter noob, I did not know it was so easy to get an account suspended. Sounds like a very flawed system. I agree that it’s wrong if some people are out there “brownshirting” those who they don’t agree with, and I applaud your effort here to get Defining My Conservatism’s account restored.

    I appreciate hearing about people of differing political leanings sharing and respecting each others’ views, particularly when contrasted with the sort of sweeping, lump-all-liberals/conservatives-into-one-bucket statements I made the mistake of reading at the other end of the twitchy link posted in an earlier comment.

    My hat off to you, sir. (Whatever that means. And if I was wearing a hat.)


    1. There’s another form of attack (not on Twitter) called SWATting, involving fake 911 calls to try to bring SWAT teams to the victim’s house and hopefully get the victim hurt in some way. I won’t provide a link this time, but it’s probably easy to find on google. If you want to fry your eyeballs you can try the twitchy page again 😉


      1. Oh man, that’s terrible! I wish I could say I can’t believe anyone would do something like that.

        It would be nice if the people who do these things could be identified and, especially in the case of SWATting, charged for the crime and fined to cover the wasted resources.


      2. I agree with Random. Terrible. Now our police has to concern itself with trying to find criminals who act in ways contrary to the idea of democracy, thus putting us all at increased risk.


  5. I just googled SWATting and this is one of the most recent articles:

    Al Gore coined the term Digital Brown Shirts in a different context. Here’s a story about it in 2004.


    1. The more humans do things the more my faith in them is insanely justified.


  6. I am assuming it wasn’t my words on that single hashtag which is keeping it shut down. I think maybe Twitter only mans their offices on week days… At least, that is my hope. It’s going on 48 hours now (after midnight tonight). I’ve opened two different tickets and both told me I’d be reinstated within the hour. But, that part of the automation is apparently not working… Oh well.


    1. It’s gotta suck to be a successful web-based enterprise and be forced to hire staff to deal with human childishness. About the only conclusion I’m able to come up with is that none of us ever really develop beyond the kindergarten playground.

      I have a ball!


  7. UPDATE! Not sure what anyone did to make it happen, but I’ve finally been reinstated after nearly 48 hours as a Twitmo detainee. (some call it a TwitterGulag) If anyone helped, and I know several tried including people here, THANK YOU. @MyConservatism


    1. I’m glad it’s over. So what was the tweet that you think did it? I heard something about a one-word Obama hashtag thingy? Weird, since for weeks I’ve been planning a post about describing Obama and Romney using one-word each. I’m a trendsetter.


  8. Nice thing you’ve done here, abyss!


    1. Thanks. I can’t help but put myself in someone else’s shoes. I’d feel hella pissed if I got shut down for making a point about Romney or having a yard sign stolen from my front yard. It just isn’t right. It’s not how Americans are supposed to treat each other. Then again, most of us are flaming assholes.


  9. nice to see people helping out for freedom of speech, even if I don’t agree with people doesn’t mean I want to shut them down….


    1. America. The land of the free. Democracy. Rights. It’s just that you can’t actually use any of that. Try it and we’ll shut you down.


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