FULL BLEED: PUTTING THE FUN BACK IN KAFKAESQUE
So my Twitter account got arbitrarily suspended over an exchange where the Algorithm blessed be its name in its wisdom has decided that by quoting a line from THE SIMPSONS to a mutual, I was in fact threatening an act of violence. Which I suppose is something you could have thought was happening if you looked at the exchange without any manner of human context or I don't know, having ever watched THE SIMPSONS.
For the record, I'll include the exchange. There was a reply that I replied to which is unavailable, that being a .gif of a waiter suggesting that chowder is pronounced 'show-der' which provokes a reply (from a character portrayed as both having a comical New England accent, and is also an incipient psychotic) "IT'S CHOWDAH! I'LL KILL YOU." (note that this presents the timeline in reverse order and I'm too lazy to fix it when cropping.)
Boom. Instant and I mean instant suspension. Reviews took a little longer and yielded the same result. I'm guessing that the humans, if there are humans in this system, just looked at the phrase I'LL KILL YOU and assumed that yeah, I was totally going to threaten violence to the target. Who is a Twitter friend that I've never met in real life but would have been happy to.
It's pending review, I guess? I have no idea.
Here's what the "target of my threat" had to say when this hit. Blurring to diminish impact to their social media feed, as I'm positive this not what they had in mind at all. This is the Algorithm.
This was a funny conversation with SIMPSONS references between mutuals.
But it is a stark reminder that all these places and platforms we've convinced ourselves that we need to stay in contact with one another and are providing a constant stream of content for are in fact not our own. That there's really not a lot of recourse if something goes awry. These are their platforms that we've made important. They're not ours.
And yeah, if I had made direct physical threats to randos on Twitter, I'd expect to be shown the door. This is just ridiculous and dumb. Particularly given what goes on over Twitter on an hourly basis in terms of people, oh, I don't know, spreading lies about the past election in order to diminish confidence in their political enemies. Or those who spread misinformation about the vaccines for a virus that hasn't gone away and has killed... half a million Americans? Actual harm being perpetrated.
Sure, I've implied that my congressional rep is not the sharpest tool in the shed and he does nothing but parade out bankrupt policies and images. But I'm generally polite about it.
Anyways, the fact is that I've spent too much energy on Twitter. But it is where a bunch of my friends and colleagues and bots who post art I like and handful of minor celebrities and strange like-minded people and others hang out. Had good conversations there. It's a good way to keep in touch and not be on Facebook. And yeah, I try to reach readers there.
Guess those days are done. I dunno. Just a bracing reminder that you only think you're a stakeholder in any of these places. But really, you, like me, are just the primary product.
If you're one of the folks who I used to converse with, I'm pretty sure there's still a mail form on the main page of the blog or my own website. Maybe I'll get crazy enough to post it as a .gif or something so it doesn't get scraped. Use email.
In the meantime, I'm going to try and pioneer textcasting(tm). Where I post text and people can come read it any time they want to from the convenience of their own phones or desktops, I don't judge. I don't have any annoying commercial messages or distracting visuals. And when a publisher asks me about my social media profile, well, I guess I can say that I was too hot for Twitter and not be lying about it.
Remember that the Algorithm doesn't feel mercy or pity. It can't be bargained with or reasoned with. And it positively will not stop, ever. Until you are dead. Or have posted a quote from a once-funny TV show that has one of its key phrases.
More on this channel later.
EDIT to add a thank-you to all the folks over on Twitter who are sticking up for me and testifying as to my being a good citizen and how can a dumb thing like this happen. I like to think that they'll change some minds. But I know how these things work.