I have a bunch of Twitter accounts, dating back over 10 years. And I’ve watched Twitter morph and ebb and progress and regress all over that time. It’s gone from resolutely allowing 140 characters, to one day allowing 280 for no particular reason. Twitter was a toy for a long time but has finally found a purpose with the President using it for real-time transparent communication with the world. Other than that, it’s still a toilet for people to vomit their poorly-conceived thoughts into and others to react in the vilest ways imaginable.
During the early years, Twitter, being Jack Dorsey, couldn’t figure out what it was even for. It was just a platform to blurt out whatever was on your mind. It had no real purpose, which is the main characteristic of Silicon Valley products. Products rarely have a marketing plan or business plan. There’s no way the creators of most of the apps and SaaS and creations that come out of Silicon Valley could go before a traditional banker and get a loan. That’s why they rely on pitching themselves and abstract ideas and faux numbers more than any bankable, workable idea or product.
As the product gains users (MAUM) only then can another round of financing be begged for. Most of these companies go years and years without a profit. Some never operate profitably. They just operate as-is, with the funders taking big salaries until they’re bought out and then they really walk away with giant sums of money. It’s ridiculous to think about. But that’s how Silicon Valley has been working. It remains to be seen if that business model will stand the test of time. I can’t believe it’s proceeded as long as it has. It shows what a bubble that part of the world operates in.
So Twitter’s been plugging along all these years, and currently serves as a real-time news source for the White House, which is great. For the President of the US to speak his mind in real-time, versus what we’ve had in the past which is carefully prepared statements that come to mean nothing and are dispursed to the outlets the administration wants them to be at a time the administration sees fit is an incredible, unique, and unappreciated degree of transparency.
So Twitter now sees itself as the holder of the power of free speech. A big, 1st amendment power. For, you see, not everyone is allowed to use Twitter. Twitter censors, suspends and cancells users and accounts as “they” see fit. “They” being actual individuals making decisions as to who and what can be presented. These individuals haven’t ever been identified as far as I know. They stand behind a wall of Twitter’s “operating procedures.” With only vague, abstract reasons for doing so, and no appeal available. North Korea should only wish to be so dictatorial.
Something that Twitter has also become over the years is a toilet. The worst, foulest meanest, primal things I’ve ever read have been on Twitter. People using nearly anonymous accounts to unleash their poorly-worded misspelled garbage upon the world. The hatred and bile spewed around are seriously concerning, knowing there are real people behind such thoughts, walking among us. And it used to be they were free to throw up their filthy putrescence all over Twitter. That was pre-2016 or so.
Now that there’s a republican in office, which Jack Dorsey isn’t down with, and that GOP member happens to be Donald Trump, which makes matter a code red to Silicon Valley leftists, there is a scramble to arrange who can post what, when and to whom.
This is a prologue to something that has happened to my account which I can’t figure out. I have never posted mean-spirited tweets. I may have posted some sarcastic or sharp-witted tweets that others without the same knack for literary twists can appreciate, but nothing that I would call “mean,” much less anything close to some of the undeniable garbage I’ve read and seen on Twitter. I also must point out, that nearly all of the filth has been posted by those on the left of the political spectrum. I’m not saying they shouldn’t be allowed to post that crap, but it needs to be taken into account.
So, for the past few months, I’ve noticed something with my account. I have around 1,000 followers and I’m following around 1,500. And lately(for the past 2 years or so), for no particular reason I’ve been active on the platform. And others have been responsive to my tweets, and I’ve engaged in conversations, debates, and other back-and-forths that the platform was designed for. That has been a wonderful use for it, I’ve found for me personally. The best thing I’ve ever found Twitter to be useful for is that it’s allowed me to communicate with people I’d never have the ability to otherwise. Musicians, businessmen, a few global politicians, and people that I consider on another level of humanity because of what they’ve done or are doing that would be so far out of my reach otherwise that when I find myself tweeting and communicating with them, it’s beyond incredible. I won’t say who these people are, but imagine you coming into intimate contact with those you think are simply incredible people for whatever reason. And suddenly you find yourself communicating with them one on one. That’s what Twitter’s allowed me to do, which has been it’s greatest value to me.
But suddenly, about 3 months ago, my account went silent. I was still tweeting, as usual, engaging others in a discussion(or trying to) and posting and retweeting things with my commentary. And there has been no life derived from my activity. So lately I’ve intentionally been posting what I consider provocative and challenging statements and commentary to see what would happen. And guess what? Nothing! Not a single comment back from all of Twitter, even when I hashtag and @ all over the place. How does one explain that? The only explanation I can come up with is that “Twitter” has somehow silenced me. It otherwise makes no sense.
I searched through my emails to see if I received a notice of suspension or something from email@example.com to explain it. Nothing there. I looked within my account to see if I missed a DM or something to explain it. Nothing.
So, what’s the deal? It’s as if I’ve been muted. My tweets still exist on my Twitter page: http://twitter.com/mbmusgrove however, it’s as if there’s a mechanism in place to prevent my tweets form being sent out and from anyone seeing them.