Blocked from Twitter!

I’ve been rationing my visits to Twitter because so much on #auspol is either blatant spin or outright rubbish. Now, apparently, I’m to be blocked:

What the…?

And then I found out what the fuss is about. @GladysB is the newly resigned Premier of NSW who presided over the Delta outbreak that spread to my state, Victoria, and even across to New Zealand. She had to resign because she’s being investigated by ICAC on corruption. She is a monster. But inciting physical harm? Seriously?

So…the rather literary punishment of tarring and feathering is abuse…at least according to the Twitter algorithms. With so much misinformation and disinformation allowed to flourish on social media, I’m glad some steps have been taken to curb it. Just rather funny that a figure of speech triggers those algorithms but content that implies Covid is just a cold or the flu does not.

I could ‘recant’, but I won’t. Maybe by tomorrow I’ll see the funny side.

Meeks

About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

88 responses to “Blocked from Twitter!

  • roughwighting

    What a fine mess we have. Because of the lies and vicious words of others, your words are taken literally and you are blocked. This is why I hardly use Twitter. It’s all just too hateful for me. I’d like to say I see something good out of it, and I like to follow my blogging friends like you on it, but the political morass is just too.much.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Widdershins

    What a bloody mess! … they do love their storms in teacups, don’t they?

    Liked by 1 person

  • daleleelife101.blog

    Sorry Meeks, I too agree with Dawn. Bots, algorithms or otherwise one of the upsides of the upsurge in the requirements for political correctness is finding better words and better ways… and in these days of the proliferation of keyboard warriors… it’s a slippery slope. I find differentiating between personal and behavioural helps, a lot of times what I dislike is a behaviour or action that has nothing to do with the person as a whole, and those in the public eye, the reality is I’m only ever in a position to be privy to a sliver of their media projected lives. Whatever our personal views of our country’s leaders they are humans, surrounded by advisers, teams and we also as human beings making decisions… and the results are the sum of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      As I just wrote in reply to Dawn’s comment, I had no idea that African Americans were still being tarred and feathered just a few decades ago. I also did not stop to think that by tagging Gladys I’d be automatically scrutinised because she is, or was, a politician. Had I know those two things I would have written something like – “I hope ICAC finds her guilty and sends her to jail.’

      As a general rule, I try to find the good in most people, but the behaviour of our politicians and a proportion of our citizenry has soured me against humanity in recent years. I don’t care what kind of person Gladys is behind closed doors. Her hubris or her political ambitions or her ideology or her belief in her own ‘gold standard’ caused her to take decisions that resulted in Victoria having to go through this misery again. We were just starting to think that there might be some kind of ‘normal’ life for us and bam!
      I don’t think you realise how much rage there is in Victoria.
      Our ring of steel protected the rest of Australia in 2020. Gladys did not return the favour.

      Like

      • daleleelife101.blog

        Meeks I do recognise and understand the rage, and respect your opinion. We’ve personally been for the most in self-imposed lockdown and unrestricted activities from the get-go and the pov that it’s our responsibility, to not simply wait to be told to use our commonsense to protect ourselves, our loved ones and do our bit for the greater good. I read your comment to Dawn, I saw similar rage and blame targetted at Dan Andrews which I thought was unfair. For the most people are doing the best job they can, dealing with complex human-centred and often conflicting situations. Except ScoMo… I just have no idea… wtf…

        Liked by 1 person

        • daleleelife101.blog

          Typo… restricted activities!

          Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          High Five! The Offspring and I have been in strict self iso since March as well. We’re lucky to be able to do so, but I sometimes dream of going out and buying a latte…and drinking it without bringing it home, pouring it into a clean cup and washing my hands for 20+ seconds!
          Yes, there was an awful lot of rage directed at Dan Andrews, including the tag ‘DictatorDan’, but…Melbourne’s ring of steel stopped the 2020 outbreak from spreading to the regions and/or other states. Most Melbournians are proud of that. I guess that’s also a big part of the rage now. -shrug-
          Anyway, I’ve had it with Twitter. Staying away won’t stop the rage or the sense of injustice, but it will stop amplifying both. I truly did not know I was capable of so much anger. :/

          Like

  • D. Wallace Peach

    It’s interesting what causes a blockage, isn’t it? Lies that endanger lives are perfectly acceptable (most of the time). Trump was blocked because he was hazardous to public health, but citizens can spew forth to their hearts’ content. No more literary phrasing when demanding justice. You can use the old Trumpy phrase: “Lock her up.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      I seriously did not know that tarring and feathering was a ‘thing’ in the US. I thought it was an archaic, literary allusion to severe punishment. Had I known, I would have chosen my words more carefully. And yes, as much as I hate anything to do with Trump, ‘Lock her up’ would have been much better. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  • Mick Canning

    Posted on Twitter, Andrea!

    Liked by 1 person

  • MELewis

    Good grief! The world is getting dumbed down by algorithms and bots. You are right to fight the thought police. I refuse to tow the line of the politically correct and only use neutral, emotion-free language to express disapproval.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      I admit this whole thing with Gladys and the spread of Delta from her state to mine has me frothing at the mouth. Unfortunately, I had no idea my figure of speech is taken literally in the US. I only just read Dawn’s comment about how people were still tarred and feathered in some states of the US until relatively recently. Had I known that, I would still have expressed my rage, but I would have chosen a different punishment. Language and culture can be an absolute minefield. :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • MELewis

        They can indeed! But why should one country’s particular history and social context drive communication in our global village? I get the danger of threats to public figures but that should not stop us from making pithy, literary comments to express ourselves when we feel like it. It’s a fine line but personally I believe that freedom of speech ‘trumps’ (yes, I’m taking back that word too!) personal considerations.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          Hold the presses! lol Twitter sent me an email upholding my banning. If I wanted my account active again I’d have to delete the tweet etc etc.

          Given what I learned this morning, I wasn’t surprised. The only thing that did surprise me was how little regret I felt at waving Twitter goodbye.

          In an ironic twist, however, I can’t delete my Twitter account because I need to login to do so. As I can’t login without taking my ‘punishment’, the account will have to remain…complete with /that/ tweet.

          My blood pressure feels better already. πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

          • MELewis

            Oh my my…plot thickens! Glad you are standing by your guns. An impact on traffic is the only way to make them listen.

            Liked by 1 person

          • acflory

            Oh I wish! lol Sadly I think the whole of Australia could boycott Twitter and they wouldn’t even notice.
            The upside of this is that I’ve learned even more about how dumb algorithms really are, and that’s a worry because they are going to control more and more of our lives. If they’re not improved and /supervised/ the consequences of their mistakes could become far more serious than a social slap on the wrist.

            Liked by 1 person

  • ChrisJamesAuthor

    Nothing’s really changed. “Free speech”, like most things of value, is only for the rich. When the Orange Shit-Gibbon was inciting racial hatred, warfare against countries he didn’t like, and god knows how many other crimes, Twitter did almost nothing because his activity was, according to one unofficial estimate, worth USD 50 million a month to Twitter in ad revenue.
    Social media just reflects existing inequalities in real life: a white, amoral billionaire can rape and steal with impunity, but if a poor black man tries to pass a forged 20-dollar bill, the police can murder him.
    Take care *hugs*

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      Yeah, I think it was that inequity that fueled my rage even further. That said, if I’d known that African Americans were still being tarred and feathered a few decades ago, I would have chosen a different form of punishment for dear Gladys.
      To be quite honest with you, I think it’s time I stopped using Twitter anyway. I told myself it was a cut above Facebook, but the reality is that all social media is driven by the profit motive, and yes, money talks. Big money shrieks.
      -hugs back-

      Liked by 1 person

      • ChrisJamesAuthor

        Hmm, I understand you, but we indies need to have a presence on SM, I believe. I must admit, it’s getting more difficult with some of those platforms.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          Yeah, we do need a presence, but on which platform? Even when I had a Facebook account, I hardly ever used it, and it certainly didn’t help me with my branding or marketing. I think you have to enjoy something yourself if you want to engage with people. I enjoyed Twitter in a strange, twisted way because it gave me an outlet for my growing anger. Did it help with branding/marketing though? Hah!
          To be honest, the only social media I’ve enjoyed, truly enjoyed so far is blogging. This is where my ‘people’ are, writers and readers of the books that I love.
          lol Just realised that blogging is kind of like a gigantic book club. πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

  • DawnGillDesigns

    Sorry Andrea, I have to side with Twitter here.
    My thinking is – weren’t the white southern USA states still actually tarring and feathering African Americans in the 1960’s?
    I know that you meant it figuratively, but, tbh I think that the stated intention is to have zero tolerance of threats and abuse permitted on these platforms.

    If so, then of course, the definition of zero tolerance can’t allow for nuance or perceived humour. It’s a terribly blunt tool, but I feel that to keep out the serious threats of attack (particularly to women in the public eye, so many of whom have genuine and serious concerns) anything that can be perceived as an incitement should be flagged, and the person posting effectively yellow carded, so that the issue is flagged up.

    Perhaps it’s something I’m particularly aware of as I have a couple of friends who have been caught up in the trans debate, who have politely expressed their concerns over a change to the gender recognition act, which resulted in them being ‘cancelled’ and receiving horrific threats, that escalated from online to real life and nasty postal deliveries. And a couple of friends who routinely receive terrible abuse simply because of their sexual orientation.

    Sometimes it seems that being in the public eye means that the public forgets a person is real, with feelings and friends and family. Like how so many people ignore ticket inspectors and road sweepers and abuse traffic wardens πŸ˜‰
    Personally, I think calling someone out for abhorrent views is always the right thing to do, and you do it often and well, but it needs to be done without any emotive language.

    I expect she has lots of serious death threats, like so many of our politicians and public figures over here, and as such any tweet with her handle in it will be automatically flagged and checked.
    Saw you were back on Twitter this morning though πŸ™‚
    Hugs, as always.

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      Actually no, I didn’t know that African Americans were tarred and feathered during the fairly recent past. I thought it was a punishment that went out about the same time as dunking ‘witches’. 😦 That actually explains a lot as I did wonder why any programmer would code for such an obscure and historical phrase. But Twitter is American, of course, so that explains a lot. Clearly for them, it’s a very real threat. 😦
      And yes, by tagging Gladys I clearly did set myself up for scrutiny. Put the two together, and suddenly it makes sense.

      As someone who has always supported the LGBTQI movement, including the rights of trans people, I would never use emotive language against them. Their abusers yes, the victims? Never.

      But Gladys is not a victim. In my eyes she is the perpetrator of a terrible social experiment. We did not have to ‘live with Covid’. She made us live with Covid. Every death is her responsibility. To me she is, and always will be a monster.

      I know the UK has gone through a far worse time than we have. I know the death toll in the UK is hideous. I know we haven’t suffered the way you have, but…Australia did not have to live with Covid the way Gladys forced us to do. We did not have to live with Covid while we were virtually unvaccinated and ripe for the plucking.
      That all came about thanks to Gladys. I want her punished; but I should have simply said that I hoped she’d get a jail sentence.

      Re being on Twitter though, I am confused. I haven’t been on Twitter at all since I was blocked. In fact, I don’t think I can even logon. ??
      -hugs back- And apologies for the rant.

      Liked by 1 person

  • robertawrites235681907

    I have also been suspended from Twitter in the past, Meeks. And from FB too. The algorithms are ridiculous. For me, they lifted the ban after a few weeks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      You????? Dear god. I am an angry little old lady but you and David are two of the nicest people I know.
      I can’t imagine how real people would police social media, it’s just too gargantuan, so algorithms probably are the only way to even make the attempt. That said though, surely some kind of human supervision is required?
      In my case, I had no idea that tarring and feathering was still a thing in the US, or at least it was not that long ago. Given that Twitter and Facebook are both US media platforms, it explains how such an archaic [to me] punishment would be part of the bots’ rule base. Had I known it was ‘real’, I wouldn’t have used that phrase.
      Goes to show how deep the divide is between all our English speaking countries.

      Liked by 1 person

      • robertawrites235681907

        Yes, it is very interesting how different countries have different trigger phrases. Tar and feather reminds me of the short story by Edgar Alan Poe, The System of Doctor Tarr and Prof. Fether. I got banned for sharing a twisted covid cake featuring a cake shaped like a shoe, a lot of fondant children homeschooling with headsets and computers (all made of fondant) and a mother doing lots of washing (because of covid germs). I think it was the description of the cake. Apparently we mustn’t mention the name of this disease in public. I thought it was very weird which goes back to your point about human supervision.

        Liked by 1 person

  • Books & Bonsai

    This is possibly a step in the right direction, as there is far too much false criticism online, but it’s a shame to exclude what was probably warranted…

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      I agree that social media must be ‘policed’. I also admit that algorithms are probably the only way to do so, given the size of social media. Unfortunately, the algorithms are dumb bits of code that can’t make allowances for cultural differences. Here in Australia, tarring and feathering is seen as an archaic, almost literary allusion to punishment. When I used it on Twitter, I had absolutely no idea that it was still a real threat in the US, or that it had been just a few short decades ago. That shocked me, to be honest. Much as I hate GladysB and what her hubris has done to my state, I’d never wish actual, physical harm on anybody. Not even /her/.
      We live in interesting times.

      Liked by 1 person

  • bone&silver

    Go you rebel, I love it. And on the Gladys front: she may have stuffed up many times in many ways, yet Christian Porter still sits in Parliament… 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Gah….!!!! YES! And the Sports Rorts woman, forget her name, she’s back in power thanks to the Nats internal politics too.
      I do have to say though, I really did not know that saying Gladys should be tarred and feathered would reference a despicable act that still occurred in the US a few decades back. Cultural differences can be a minefield.

      Liked by 1 person

  • anne54

    I’m not on Twitter, so I am only presuming that there are far more inflammatory statements than yours.
    I have been angry when commentators have said how well Berejiklian handled the outbreak. Like you, I know that her mishandling has caused the virus to spread to Victoria and new Zealand. Gold standard? I think not.

    Liked by 1 person

  • jenniferscoullar

    I completely agree with you about Gladys!

    Liked by 1 person

  • CarolCooks2

    Oh wow…so false news etc is allowed if we have an opinion and a valid one it isn’t…What happened to sane, free speech…Maybe we should all close our accounts but that probably wouldn’t make a dent in their figures or would it?

    Liked by 1 person

  • Carol anne

    gees! Really? Wow! I don’t do a lot on twitter, thankfully! I like facebook, but again, you have to be so careful on there too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      lol – I deleted my FB accounts a couple of years ago now. I don’t think I’ll be too upset if I have to leave Twitter. Social media has become toxic in so many ways, and it’s all about money. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  • Yvonne Hertzberger

    Yes, the bots are targeting according to words and algorithms rather than reaL MEANING. Not at all effective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      Yup. You’ve hit the nail on the head, Yvonne. Meaning!
      I actually wondered whether there’s a superstore somewhere that specialises in nice, gooey tar and bulk feathers. Or perhaps they’ve modernized with synthetic feathers.
      Maybe it was some programmer’s idea of a joke.

      Like

  • Audrey Driscoll

    Wow! I often say that some politician or other should be strung up. Good thing I’m not on Twitter or Facebook.
    One of my book reviews was refused by Amazon because it used the word axxhole (spelled correctly). The irony was that I was quoting from the book’s official description, where that word was okay, apparently. Different bots, I suppose. Once I removed it, the review was accepted.

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      LMAO! You’ve actually made me laugh with that ‘axxhole’. I know all the online media platforms process millions, if not billions of transactions every day, so algorithms probably are the only sane way to go but…surely they could be made a wee bit smarter? Sheesh.

      Liked by 1 person

  • davidprosser

    I sympathise with you. I’m blocked on posting on Facebook following a complaint from someone I offended. It’s been 3 weeks now and I keep trying to post my music blog but it says I’m still offending some. Really !!!! with music? I appealed a couple of weeks ago but they haven’t followed it up yet. If they ever will. I think they’re adjudicators are not in house and they say Covid is responsible for delays. So,

    Liked by 1 person

    • acflory

      You? You’re the least offensive person I can imagine. Sadly I don’t like your chances re the appeal. Or mine, for that matter. I think Covid has been a goldmine for social media platforms, in more ways than one. Bah and humbug!

      Like

  • StephenB

    Meeks, I have to second what Alicia wrote above and underscore that this development is ultimately a good thing. Like Alicia, I’m not on Twitter, nor am I on Facebook. In fact, I despise social media, one of the biggest swindles ever foisted upon humanity. Now is your chance to delete your Twitter account. Go for it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • acflory

      lmao – you rabble rouser you! I tend to agree with you re most social media. It is a swindle. Of course, we are also to blame because we /know/ there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Or free anything. The strings are there, we just choose not to see them. As a result, we’ve become the ‘product’ and we’re being milked for every cent we’re worth.
      I may just join you as a permanent Twitter escapee. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    Twitter can’t be much of a loss – I exist completely without it (the universe revolves around me, of course).

    But with bots policing the written world, you can’t use sarcasm, metaphor, figures of speech in general… without some yahoo (in the sense of Gulliver’s Travels) somewhere turning it into a real threat to real people. Bots don’t get context.

    But bots will ban you prophilactically and it is the price we pay for free services. How droll.

    What helps is improving your vocabulary. Surely we can all do better in the insults department, as English is very rich (having stolen from so many other languages).

    My favorite in Spanish is ‘bestia peluda,’ which means hairy beast, but conveys so much more when applied to, say, other drivers.

    Good luck with your jail sentence. Or is it permanent?

    Liked by 3 people

    • acflory

      -giggles- to be honest, the only social media I enjoy is my blog, and the blogs of my friends. If this ban does become permanent, I really won’t care that much. In the spirit of improved vocab. I now intend to shout ‘bestia peluda’ at idiot drivers who annoy me.
      If I forget the peluda part, can I just glare and yell ‘Bestia!’?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        That actually sounds more offensive, but go ahead – who am I to tell you what to yell at other people? And most people will understand Bestia, whereas the combination makes it sound more, curse-y. Go ahead.

        Liked by 1 person

        • acflory

          -grin- nice to have your blessing. I have called someone ‘un bΓͺte’, but that was in the early 70’s when a gentleman I met in Paris decided that a few hours of showing me around deserved a quick poke in payment. I declined to pay and called him an animal. Something worked because I survived with my honour intact.
          For English speakers, I think ‘bestia!’ would work much better. Not that I imagine I’ll have to defend my honour at this late stage. πŸ˜‰

          Like

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