I was wrong!
Appearances can sometimes lead people to wrong conclusions. I concluded from the mass suspension of atheists on Twitter yesterday that it could be due to a campaign by other twitter users to report the suspended users as spam.
Well, turns out Twitter updated their spam-catching algorithms, which started suspending users with a huge history of @mentions.
I found out via Skeptical Software Tools, so thanks!
Normally I dig deeper when things such as this happens (like when Twitter users accused Twitter of blocking #godisnotgreat and #atheistrollcall from trending) but for some reason I didn’t bother to read Twitter’s own blog to see that they had updated their algorithms.
Thanks Tim of Skeptical Software Tools, for tracking down the real reason people were being suspended. You can follow him @krelnik
Some of my fellow bigot baiters on Twitter have been suspended for “spam” yesterday.
Here’s a list of people whose accounts have recently been suspended:
@AtheistGal1 – (has a new account, @1IntuitiveGal)
Update: these folks are unsuspended:
@idebunkforme is definitely keeping abreast of updates as well over here.
Some of these folk’s accounts have already been restored, but it appears an effort by other twitter users to mark these accounts as “spam” caused an automatic suspension of these users.
Shame on you Twitter people for attempting to silence atheists on Twitter. Being petty isn’t nice.
Twitter user @Atheist_Julie got this response from Twitter:
Twitter has automated systems that find and remove multiple automated spam accounts in bulk. unfortunately, it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake.
I’ve restored your account, sorry for the inconvenience.
Please note that it may take an hour or so for your follower and following numbers to return to normal.
How many times must an account be marked as spam before Twitter boots it?
It’s not really Twitter’s fault that these accounts got suspended, but if you feel inclined, you can certainly email them and ask that the accounts in question that have not yet been restored get restored. In the meantime, you should maybe think about following all of those awesome people once they get unsuspended. Oh, and me =D
p.s. You can back up your twitter account.