They call it “Twitmo” instead of Gitmo on the “Break the Media Blackout” Facebook page. That’s where Twitter has apparently been sending individuals who have been tweeting too much on the Kermit Gosnell abortion trial, suspending accounts and putting users in a virtual “time out” until they check off a few boxes in a “I promise to behave” form.
Yesterday I ended up a detainee, my accounted frozen until I promised the Twitter gods that I would abide by a vague collection of rules that are selectively enforced by nameless faceless Twitter moderators.
At 12:38 p.m. I posted a story on the media blackout of the Gosnell case, and throughout the day I used the #Gosnell hashtag:
• Ignoring #Gosnell infanticide, #MSNBC investigates if #GOP voters too #prolife
• Thanks for all your work on bringing light to the #Gosnell case, @leslieps918. http://wtim.es/XwD0bs #prolife #tcot #CNN #NBC #ABC #CBS
• Talked media bias on #Gosnell w @AndyParksTWT, DC’s 102.9 FM. http://wtim.es/1241drp @iowahawkblog’s great observations mentioned. #tcot
• . @TheRevAl leads #MSNBC show ranting about #RandPaul talking to minorities. No talk of #Gosnell murdering minorities. #ProLife #tcot
Only moments after Tweeting Al Sharpton, my account was suspended for sending “multiple unsolicited mentions” to other users. I have used Twitter for years in the same manner and have never been banned, and my last mentions to Al Sharpton that I know of were February 1 and September 26, 2012:
• #TawanaBrawley found after decades, served court order for defamation case – http://wtim.es/Xd57YW Any reaction, @TheRevAl? #apologize
• #MSNBC’s Politics Nation: You’re a racist, but Tawana Brawley isn’t mentioned @BlackEaglePower @TheRevAl #tcot… http://wp.me/pOtV7-1bM
Is it unacceptable to tweet Reverend Al Sharpton a handful of times over the course of months, when his cable news show on MSNBC routinely casts conservatives as racists, bigots, sexists and homophobes? Are the objects of his slander not allowed to respond to him directly? On Twitter, that may be the case.
So millions of viewers are allowed to be told that guys like me are racists, but if I take a moment out of my day once in a blue moon to tell Al Sharpton that he’s a man who made his career peddling lies, I get my account frozen? Unbelievable. What would happen if I reminded Al of the time he ruined a man’s career by accusing him of raping a black woman and smearing feces on her face when, in reality, it was all just a hoax? I’d probably be banished to a Twitter gulag forever.
Although, there is another possibility: I ended up in “Twitmo” for simply using the hastag #Gosnell in ways that made too many pro-choice Twitter users upset. Armed with the spam button, they are notorious for getting conservative accounts suspended (‘Twitter gulag’ is what some users call their probationary period).
Testimony from the “Break the Media Blackout” page include:
• Catherine Contreras: Ugh! Suspended from Twitter! How long does Time Out last?? Using other account in the meantime
•Markie Marie Works: I’m in Twitmo and I haven’t even tweeted that much,?????
•Rebecca De Anda Boucher: second twitter account…win!
• Karen Elizabeth Clark: Twitter says I am over my limit of tweets for today … I have never seen that before on Twitter
• Philip A Hagen: Twitter is censoring this movement. Time to take it to our local news stations?
• Sabrina L Beaz UGGG I just got suspended again! Dang Twitmo
• Yvette Gonzales So I just tried to get into my Twitter acct and I’m blocked right now.
The Kermit Gosnell case is shaping up to be not just a murder trial, but an examination of free speech in America. On one hand we have media outlets that have abdicated their role to provide citizens with timely, comprehensive and important stories. Why would Al Sharpton lead his show with a day old story on Rand Paul when social media sites everywhere were exploding about the Gosnell case? In another segment, he talked about how guys like Paul Ryan were too pro-choice for at least five minutes and not once did Gosnell come up with anyone on the panel.
On the other side of the debate we have grassroots conservatives covering a story, only to be blocked on social media platforms because of rules that are seemingly enforced in full when conservatives shift momentum in their favor.
The Kermit Gosnell case is far from over, and whether or not The Associated Press, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, CBS or Twitter moderators are happy about it, conservatives aren’t going away without a fight.