Badge of Honour


A few weeks ago I was having a cup of tea with some Monitoring BDS ladies in Hampstead – those brave souls who attend Corbyn meetings and video antisemitism from the Hard Left. I asked them why their output on Twitter was so hard to locate, whereas their Facebook pages seemed easy to find and were always replete with content. And their immediate answer was, “we get banned all the time. It’s a badge of honour”.

Now, I don’t do Twitter. I find reading through endless tweets fatiguing and time-consuming, not that there aren’t some people I know who do Twitter very well (I think of Sam White and Jamie Foster who – when they are on form – can rustle up a pithy put-down that takes down its target like a machete through mango).

Twitter seems to me to be rather too similar to that scene in Bruce Almighty where Jim Carrey gets worn down answering prayers from strangers who vary from sanity to insanity:

Country Squire Magazine does have a Twitter account and roughly an eighth of its visitor traffic stems from tweets the magazine posts daily. I did have a Twitter account which I employed to retweet Country Squire articles and like the occasional tweet through, but it was not an account I’d ever use to volunteer opinion through – I repeat that I don’t do Twitter, as it’s not for me.

So, I was most surprised to read an email last week from Twitter saying that I had been suspended for violating the Twitter Rules. Specifically, for: Violating our rules against evading permanent suspension.

This seemed very odd as I have never been permanently suspended from Twitter. A small collection of Country Squire associated Twitter accounts, including my own, were suspended in 2017 after the Irish national broadcaster RTE requested suspensions (from Ireland-based Twitter) after an article about Eire in our magazine which they didn’t like at all. At the time I turned down an interview with an obnoxious RTE radio man who got annoyed with my “I don’t do local radio” comment – I was on holiday at the time and his fussing was getting in the way of some decent fishing.

On that occasion via a solicitor we showed Twitter the RTE journalist’s IRA connections and the background of the guy who engineered the suspension (a no-friends PIN for harassment, soap-resisting type) and Twitter soon relented. We even considered moving to Gab but I rejected that option – an even worse echo asylum. We became buyers of Twitter ads and actually got to know some Twitter humans.

My first response to this latest suspension (of what is an immaterial 100-follower personal account) was “phew. Good riddance. Badge of Honour”. But then I looked into who might be behind the suspension, as the incident seemed most peculiar.

A hot-headed animal rights lunatic troll account was the first to point out the suspension – a giveaway to a trail of nutters including a convicted grave desecrator and train flasher (I kid you not). Then – with some mates on the case – we discovered that this hothead was in cahoots with a stalker from Hastings and another mad bloke who together have been desperately trying to prevent public release of a report into their stalking, which they knew I had a copy of (all their victims have a copy, as do several police forces).

So, we began to smell a rat – several of them in fact. The long and short of it – opponents of the magazine had a Twitter insider who had engineered a ban.

First lesson for such situations – there is no point going to Twitter Support. Left wing companies only respond to enquiries from conservatives if they happen to be their financiers and financial advisors (who tend not to be socialists, oddly enough). So, a few calls were made and before long a route was found to speak with a senior Twitter executive about the situation regarding this peculiar suspension.

A couple of days passed and then I received a telephone call. It was from the Twitter Executive and he was on speakerphone with a non-finance colleague present. The colleague let me know that the Twitter suspension I had been given was not justified at all, as I had not tweeted anything of any note using my personal account and had never been permanently suspended. My account was even called “boring”. She explained that the technical reason for this suspension was manual. In other words not an algorithm but an actual human being went out of their way to suspend my account. That they knew who this person was but needed to collect the evidence from me to show “conspiracy”, and see who else was involved and what inspired them to act.

Twitter now has my evidence. I am due to meet with them this week to find out what went wrong with their systems.

A storm in a teacup? Perhaps. Then again, Twitter is a leftist platform – as are so many other technologies on which conservatives also depend for free speech. The truth is important here, so we’ll get to the bottom of it and update. Politically-motivated suspensions or suspensions without cause are the stuff of the Soviet Union not free market capitalist Britain in 2019.

Watch this space, Dear Readers.

Together with Twitter we shall expose this Twitter rat.

Update: Following a meeting with Twitter today (24.05.2019) I have agreed not to comment on the ongoing investigation into my suspension until it has completed. I shall update in the near future as to the outcome.