The Block(head) Wars: Could Abuse Silence All?
The Loesches believe some are abusing Twitter's "block and report for spam" function, tricking Twitter's algorithms into undeservedly banning accounts. But do the Loesches want the problem fixed, or do they support retaliatory actions? The answer is unclear.
- On the heels of Chris Loesch's apparently undeserved banning from Twitter, Dana Loesch started a Twitter campaign: #freechrisloesch.
Fans supported the cause so vocally that the hashtag trended at #3 worldwide that night--quite the success. And as Dana pointed out, this wasn't just about her husband; abuse could be used to silence anyone.
- She makes a great point: If the allegations of twitter abuse are true, it's a bipartisan issue--an issue for "all." Neither side should attempt to shut down the other, period.
Unfortunately, Chris may not agree.
A few hours before Dana's tweet, Chris retweeted a call for conservatives to start employing block-and-report tactics against liberals. So which is it: a concern for everyone, or just for the Loesches?
- If the Loesches sincerely wish to solve the problem of twitter abuse for everybody, then they need to make sure they and their followers are not part of the problem.
The ethical course is clear: Dana and Chris should publicly state that they do NOT support retaliation. The last thing we need is for one group of blockheads to go around blocking another group of blockheads.
Like these reasonable folks said to all the reactionaries out there:
- Let's hope the Loesches do the right thing and clarify their position.
- xo Rebecca
- An addendum:
A few people have asked me to clarify my thinking on this situation. Here's the deai:
- As this exchange documents, my thinking has evolved over time. At first, I wondered whether #1 or #2 might have been the issue. After seeing Chris's original tweets, I was leaning towards the quantity being an issue; a Yahoo News article had suggested as much. I had previously explained to another person who was critical of my take on the situation:
- But as Lauren convinced me later that day, Chris wasn't actually tweeting enough to mimic a spambot. She explained:
"50 tweets in 45 minutes, while high in number, is no higher than what I tweet at least twice every Monday during an active support chat I lead. I have only been tossed in 'Twitter jail' once or twice, never suspended nor banned."
So, as stated above, I believe it's possible that Chris Loesch was unjustly reported for spam and thus blocked. I can't find evidence of an orchestrated attack -- but I have seen conservatives calling for retaliation.
That's why the ethical choice for Chris is to clarify his position. It might put an end to the thirst for revenge among those who supported the #FreeChrisLoesch campaign.
- Update, May 1: Oh, look, a "response":
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