Should Conservatives Use the Nuclear Option to Get Twitter Gulag Closed?

03Jun12

As my twitter account (@eyedesertblog) languishes in Twitter Gulag, it has given me the opportunity to think about why it was created. Twitter Gulag is basically a place where conservatives and libertarians on Twitter get sent for a variety of reasons. It’s mainly been done by a group of liberals who are exposing a flaw in Twitter’s system regarding reporting spam: the system is run by a computer.  Because of this, the computer can’t distinguish whether the spam report is legitimate or malicious. It then leaves it up to the Twitter user to file a complaint with Twitter to get the problem solved. Of course, this takes time and patience that some people, myself included, don’t always have. My twitter account was suspended late Thursday and, as of Saturday afternoon, has yet to be returned.

The first well known Twitter Gulag member was Chris Loesch, who was sent there for defending his wife, Dana, a St. Louis-based talk show host and CNN contributor. Since then, users like Leah from Misfit Politics, Orwell Force, GlockandPearls and JJumpForJoy have seen their accounts sent to Twitter Gulag. It normally takes several days to get out of Twitter Gulag, however some people have been there for over a week.

One thing that’s obvious regarding Twitter Gulag is that users are purposely being singling out.  Leah created a backup twitter account shortly after her original account was suspended.  The backup account was almost immediately suspended. The same happened to me. My backup account (@eyeamdesert) was squashed after a fellow conservative on Twitter said, “I thought that was you!”

To put it plainly, this is suppression. A small, but loud group of liberals obviously wants to keep conservatives and libertarians quiet. Maybe I know too many thoughtful, substantive liberals but I doubt Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Barack Obama are telling the Twitter Gulag “wardens” to specifically go after people. Michelle Malkin and Liberty Chick like to point out union thuggery, but I don’t see how they benefit either. It would be easier for them to go after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker or Rush Limbaugh. They’re the “big boys.”

So what should conservatives and libertarians on Twitter do regarding Twitter Gulag? Greg Allmain over at “The Trenches” has a very interesting article, suggesting it might be time to do what liberals have been doing to us in hopes of reaching a solution.

From Allmain (emphasis mine):

This tactic has been employed for a fair amount of time now, with a large segment of the #tcot community providing constant complaint to Twitter about it. And so far, nothing appears to be happening. We can adjust our habits, but I’d rather not. This is an attack meant to discourage people from freely associating with those they want to, and there can be no doubt that it is, indeed, an attack on free speech…But, seeing as how Twitter’s liberal bias is pretty well confirmed, perhaps if fire was fought with fire here, and a bunch of butthurt Lefty’s start complaining to Twitter about this particular exploit, something might actually happen.

I’m not sure I agree with Allmain’s conclusions, even if they make sense. The Twitter War has been compared to the Cold War, where both the US and USSR stared at each other down with nuclear weapons. The threat of launching a nuke had a weird tenuous balance on the globe where everyone just waited to see what would happened. While it might be easy to go with the nuclear option, I’ve always thought it was rather unbecoming of the right to do this.

A British general in World War I once said using poison gas was ” a cowardly form of warfare which does not commend itself to me or other English soldiers…we cannot win this war unless we kill or incapacitate more of our enemies than they do of us, and if this can only be done by our copying the enemy in his choice of weapons, we must not refuse to do so.” Or, as a friend of mind puts it, “Playing games and stooping to stupid is stupid.”

Now the Allies in World War I ended up developing their own form of poison gas and in World War II bombed German cities in hopes of lowering morale. I’m just not sure the “nuclear option” is something we should do. Nor should conservatives and libertarians develop their own form of Twitter to avoid the Twitter Gulag. In that situation, those wanting to silence us win.

We may just have to “grin and bear” and create hashtags demanding freedom, while lobbying Twitter to fix the rules.

After all, the easy way isn’t always the “right way.”

ADDENDUM: It should go without saying if someone is legitimately breaking the Twitter rules regarding spamming, then they should be reported. But doing what this group of liberals seem keen on doing, I’m not sure is the right move.

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9 Responses to “Should Conservatives Use the Nuclear Option to Get Twitter Gulag Closed?”

  1. Concurrently serving time in the Gulag myself (@ptab01) Third time I have been suspended for correcting a point that being pushed by the left.
    I abhor the notion of silencing people that is for the brutish ugly Neanderthals to conduct Not US citizens on the Left or The Right. It is the utter testament to were our society dares to tread though as we contemplate such lunacy

    There is little else left but to stand and make our case for Conservative principles as loudly and rigorously as the left make theirs. It is truly sad though that debate and discussion of subjects is so polarized that it can not be done at all

    • I know it is absolutely insane. I don’t understand the point. If you don’t like what someone is saying, there’s always the “unfollow or block” button. You’d think people would use it more.

  2. 3 tiger4truth

    Isn’t this really a Twitter issue since either side could target the other? When you play in the Twitter sandbox, they are in control. If they allow bullies exploiting a faulty algorithm to beat up on those who do play by the rules, it reflects badly on Twitter. #TwitterFAIL applies. Make it trend repeatedly if necessary and you will get noticed.

    • It’s totally a Twitter Fail which is why Twitter needs to be pressured to change their rules.

  3. 5 Surly

    You’re comparing using “Block and report” on Twitter to nuclear warfare?

    Seriously?

    #firstworldproblems doesn’t even begin to describe how silly this is.

    • You’re missing the point. What I’m saying is conservatives and libertarians shouldn’t feel the need to retaliate by targeting liberals who haven’t spammed anyone and report them. That’s the “nuke option.” The thought is, “Well if libs do it, we should too and they’ll stop.” That’s stooping to stupid and not a good idea.

  4. 7 StuKlu

    I am going on close to 24 hours in the gulag myself @kleinsteve62. I’ve only been on twitter since mid march and this is my third stint. As far as I have been able to tell, I’ve never broken a rule of twitter and have been targeted. It’s easy to do to someone with only a couple hundred followers apparently.

    • It’s really bizarre. I still can’t figure out why I was put in it if I’ve had all of two interactions with liberals on Twitter, with both being rather tame (no name-calling, trolling, etc). Be nice to get out soon.


  1. 1 Speaking of Suspensions . . . | Mike Cornelison

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