While the #FreeMQS campaign is still going strong on twitter, Empower Texans and AgnedaWise responds to its accounts and its staff members accounts being suspended by twitter.
By Empower Texans (07/19/2011)
Yesterday, without warning or notification, social media mini-blog site Twitter simultaneously “suspended” the main Empower Texans feed along with the personal accounts of all staff.
It is unsettling, to say the least, given the way the entity sells itself as a great equalizer for personal and public discourse.
The Empower Texans team has clearly not sought to violate Twitter Rules, and have yet to receive any official notice or clarification of the action. Furthermore, a simple examination of our accounts clearly shows the Empower Texans team have not run afoul of Twitter’s guidelines.
Twitter, which offers no phone numbers or the ability to appeal a decision directly, has been notified through their process of this issue, and the necessary appeals have been submitted online. But, again, we have received no information from Twitter.
Of course, Empower Texans is going strong on Facebook. We have more than 18,700 friends on our main page – making us the largest independent, Texas-based policy/political group operating there with a vibrant community and on-going dialogue. (Our Facebook reach is also bigger than the state’s various news organizations!)
While the Empower Texans team members engage in political conversations and advocacy using the Twitter medium, they certainly do not use the medium to sell particular products or to generate spam. Empower Texans uses the Twitter medium in good faith to engage and actively contribute to the social media/networking experience. We talk about political ideas, Texas issues, as well as topics of personal interests from Aggie football to UT baseball, families and vacations to history and pop-culture.
Individual Twitter accounts are suspended everyday for a litany of reasons only to be reinstated after a quick review. The fact that an organizational feed, along with the personal accounts of all those associated with the organization, were suspended at the same time is odd and raises concern. Even more so that they were suspended with no notice or warning.
What is certainly more unsettling is the effect this action could have on the greater “social media” experience in regard to political discourse.
If this series of unfounded suspensions prove to be the result of a political prank, Twitter’s automated system — confounded by the byzantine nature of its appeals process — has proven highly susceptible to those wishing to manipulate it.
And AgendaWise responds as well below.
Twitter accounts for AgendaWise, AgendaWise Executive Director Daniel Greer, and AgendaWise Lead Writer and Researcher Weston Hicks were suspended yesterday for reasons still unknown.
Additionally, Twitter accounts have been suspended for Empower Texans, Empower Texans President and CEO Michael Quinn Sullivan, Empower Texans Executive Director Andrew Kerr, and Empower Texans Social Media Coordinator Dustin Matocha.
AgendaWise serves Texans with conservative strategy, analysis, and accountability for liberal media and donors. Empower Texans serve Texans as conservative fiscal watchdogs for the Texas legislature. Greer worked for Empower Texans during the first three years of the organization’s existence, moving on to start AgendaWise with Hicks in 2010.
Twitter has been contacted about the suspensions and hasn’t yet responded. For this reason, everything being said right now about the suspensions is speculation.
The suspensions could be the result of tech issues on the part of Twitter or the result of liberal enemies of the two organizations having marked the accounts as spam. The suspensions could be the result of something else entirely.
We’ll report more as the situation unfolds.