I spent a good part of my adult life building a following on Twitter. I created my account when I was living in Boston. I had this cool apartment, at least I thought it was a cool apartment on Chelsea Street in East Boston. From it, I could, and did, walk to the best pizza place in Boston – Santarpio’s. That was about 10 years ago. And now it’s all gone, not Santarpio’s, my Twitter account.
I don’t know if it was 2TwelveHundreds when I initially created my Twitter account in early 2011. It could have been though. At the time I was working as a freelance journalist and I still setup all my DJ equipment that I bought when I lived in Seattle. I still played, and even made music at the time. Now, I haven’t powered up either Technics 1200 in years. They just sit, collecting dust.
I didn’t have a huge following on Twitter at the end. I think I had like 5,300 followers. But they were good followers, some were great followers. Over the decade I’ve had some of the best, most enlightening political debates with my Twitter followers. Every now and then the random celeb like Talib Kweli would even join in.
That Twitter account was with me when I moved from Boston to Montpelier, Vermont. I got a job as the town reporter for the Times Argus. That job paid jack shit, but I did love it. Then I got married and started producing children and bought a house and went back to my old job as a software engineer and now …
Now that’s all gone. Twitter took it away. The account is gone, I still have the wife, kids and software engineering job, so it’s not that sad of a story. But I would like to know why Twitter took away my account. They didn’t say. They just told me that my Twitter account is suspended. I filed an appeal, but I’m quite certain it will get denied. I’m not famous. I’m not just a guy. It’s also true that I’ve violated Twitter’s terms of service many times over the years. I was suspended for an entire week last Christmas because I said to Trump that he’s a “punk ass bitch.” That’s probably targeted harassment. That wasn’t the first time I was suspended.
Some of my humor can be a bit aggressive. Sometimes I use violent imagery as a means, perhaps a cheap one, to make my point, or make something funny. Twitter doesn’t like jokes, at least not those sorts of jokes. Twitter is fine with Trump using its platform to target and destroy the lives of people who work for Our Government. Twitter’s fine with Trump and the GOP openly attacking our democratic institutions, and in many cases, openly committing felonies on Twitter.
But I was too much for Twitter. My opinions, jokes, style, whatever, were inappropriate for Twitter. I challenged Dear Leader and those in power the wrong way. So I had to be shut up. I have been shut up and shut out and shut down.
Before you spend years building a powerful following on Twitter, just know that if you’re not the right type, or famous, or powerful, Jack can take it all away with no explanation. It’s just poof – gone.