I’m back on Twitter after having my account suspended for 4 days because I posted a picture of myself, masked and proudly displaying my vaccination card, after receiving my second Covid-19 shot.
I don’t have a screenshot of the post, but it looked identical to this one on Facebook:
I had my account suspended until I either deleted the post, or successfully appealed it, for “violating our policy on spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19”.
Deleting the post without question would have had my account restored within 12 hours. Appealing the decision took 4 days and despite Twitters own rules allowing for the use of satire, my appeal failed.
I understand the desire to protect your users from misinformation, but in what universe (besides Twitters), does a photo of someone proudly displaying their vaccination record (even with a satirical commentary) constitute the spread of misinformation?
Knowing that even satirical posts (which are explicitly allowed by their policy) will result in a suspension from the service has a chilling effect on my use of the service.
Since deleting my post in order to have my account reinstated, I’ve found myself wondering about posting to twitter at all. Should I drop the service, which I have been using since March 2007? Not even the normally draconian Facebook found my post to be an issue.
I even debated whether or not to mention Twitter in the title of this post for fear of falling afoul of the moderation gods.