How Twitter “protects you from abusers” actually protects abusers

If you ever needed more proof that “the Internet is doing ‘report abuse’ wrong because its admins are corrupt,” here is a perfect case study.

Today I received the following email from Twitter:


We have received a second complaint from an individual that your account, @maymaym, is in violation of the Twitter Rules (, specifically our rules regarding targeted harassment and abuse.

At this point, we have removed your account from Search.

Please be aware that continued abusive behavior may lead to your account being permanently suspended.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Twitter Trust & Safety

System Reference: ref:00DA0000000K0A8.500G000000Opgu6:ref

Here is my response, posted here because I’m sure I’ll need to refer to it later:


Please be aware that the reports you are receiving about my account are from people who have specifically targeted my account in abusive ways. The tweets of mine they have reported to you are responses to tweets from them that are, themselves, abusive. I realize you are probably “just doing your job” but you should perhaps consider asking yourself whether or not the way you are currently doing your job enables or mitigates abusive behavior on your service.

Are the people whose accounts I have interacted with also being threatened with suspension? If not, can you explain why your enforcement of your Twitter rules is arbitrary rather than uniform?

Here are screenshots of the interactions in question along with links for your convenience:

There are, of course, many other examples. Since you are Twitter I know for a fact that you have the capability (even if you don’t have the desire) to actually examine the full context and history of the conversations excerpted above. The question is, since you have this capability, why aren’t you using it? Or, if you are using it, what reasoning have you used to determine the “abusive”-ness of the behavior involved, and, again, why in such a one-sided fashion if indeed it is so one-sided?

If Twitter, in fact, operates under a “whoever reported abuse first wins” model of moderation, perhaps Twitter should update its TOS to reflect its actual stance and not hollow populism?


For those of you who still want to follow me “on Twitter” after I eventually get banned, you can do so here or here. (I told you these networks are already censored. Note especially how Tumblr censors you to protect rapists.)

See also: