Untrustworthy Verification

BuzzFeed has a post up dealing with internal Twitter emails which show how that company went through the process of banning Milo Yannopoulos. While the BuzzFeed piece is somewhat sympathetic to Twitter, it demonstrates how poorly crafted Twitter’s internal processes were (and apparently still are).

The emails also highlight a fundamental tension inside Twitter — the strain between the company’s desire to rid its platform of bad actors and its oft-professed commitment to a maximalist interpretation of free speech.


One employee argued that Twitter’s own internal metrics suggested a different meaning for the blue checkmark. “[Verification] makes the account measured for Media OKRs [Objectives and Key Results] and contributes to the VIT [Very Important Tweeter] count we report to shareholders,” Sharp wrote in an email to fellow executives, suggesting that verified users were valuable to the company. According to a person in a position to know, Twitter’s earnings reports included references to the number of celebrities and VIP users on platform, meaning that verification would boost those numbers.

I’m not going to get into whether or not Milo violated Twitter’s Terms of Service. I’ll speak to my own case. My @wjjhoge account was permanently banned from Twitter after false complaints for Brett Kimberlin. I have seen no evidence that Twitter did any substantive investigation of the complaints. Twitter refused to discuss the matter with me or offer any explanation other than saying the I had violated their Rules. The process was completely opaque.

@wjjhoge was the Twitter account tied to this blog. After I had been using it for a while, I set up a personal account as well. After @wjjhoge was suspended, I began using that personal account to promote Hogewash!, and I paid advertising fees to Twitter to promote blog posts. Twitter then cancelled that account with no explanation other than “violation” of the Rules—and no refund. In fact, I still receive emails from Twitter offering business services to that suspended account.

A few days after the false criminal charge that Kimberlin filed against me was thrown out, Twitter decided that I could have my @wjjhoge account back. While they did “apologize” for the inconvenience, they would not provide any details of why my accounts were suspended. All the information I have concerning the process has been developed through other sources.

Even though I do not view Twitter as a reliable business partner, I’m still on Twitter because it is remains somewhat useful. However, for the past year I’ve also been on Gab. I have been sufficiently impressed that I’ve invested in the site. If you’re interested in a social medium where the First Amendment really is respected, give Gab a try.

6 thoughts on “Untrustworthy Verification

  1. You all remember way back in 2013 I was banned from twitter for “targeted harassment” i.e. disagreeing with a liberal that adults should NOT have sex with a minor. It seems that Thomas Mix the #VeroBeachCrybully thinks I have a protected account on Twitter and I keep trying to follow him….
    Uh no I can still see everything the #VeroBeachCrybully posts from my suspended twitter account…In fact I got Twitter to force him to remove all of his all of his flashing GIFs which he posted specifically to cause me ham!

    I’m on Gab an I like it very much!


  2. This sounds all too familiar, take the recent Twitter suspension of PJMedia’s terror expert Bridget Johnson @bridget_PJM for example. Curious she worte an article in November titled “Christmas Threat Against Times Square in New ISIS Santa Poster” bit.ly/2iRe4M7  then a few weeks later Twitter suspended her with no explaination. Most likey the same pesky group of SJW’s on the Twitter Trust & Safety Council who got RS McCain banned got her banned also. Could this be another test run on getting consertatives banned from Twitter? Yet, Antifa accounts, anit-semtic accounts like Linda Sarsour @lsarsour and other terror related accounts still persist. Can Twitter tell the difference between terrorism analysts and terrorists? Or is Twiiter confriming their support for terror related accounts that support their far-left ideology? Twiiter does seem to support Brett Kimberlin & Kimberlin subordinates like Bill Schmalfeldt. It would be interesting to see Johnny Atsign do an investigation into possible ties to Del Harvey @delbius and/or other members of the Trust & Safety Council to Team Kimberlin.

    • I was permanently banned and suspended for posting content against their private ‘rules’ (they cited Religious content that was ‘hurtful’ to non-Christians … I created a new account and tweeted very infrequently until I joined Gab at John’s recommendation, now I post almost daily on Gab (for those interested, my handle is @frlemmen)

  3. I do not nor have I ever had a Twitter account. I saw the need to have one, and I probably have a happier life without it.

    And I deleted my Facebook account after I found out that they censor conservative sites.

    Everyone is so involved in “Social Media” that they ignore socializing with friend and family in their immediate vicinity.

  4. Pingback: In The Mailbox: 12.20.17 : The Other McCain

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