Dearest dearest all,
This is just a brief note, to say thank you all for your notes and emails and outraged tweets… I wont lie, I feel a little sick, but I also thought it was a matter of when not if, so I’m in an odd state of very-shocked-not-really-shocked.
I’ve appealed. I wrote a damn essay in the form about the difference between directing hatred at a group and directing political critique at political behaviour. Who knows. As we know, twitter is at best a crap shoot, and the game is fucking rigged. I’ll write something more on the three times I was scalped and the bullshit involved each time shortly. In the meantime, the essay from late last summer when it first became clear that they were coming for us.
Twitter and Trans Rights Totalitarianism
ETA: The reason for the suspension is here
Here’s the essay-ette I wrote to twitter:
You have suspended my account. The tweet concerned was a political critique of the use of repetitive mantras in order to disseminate political ideas. We appreciate your concern to make sure that vulnerable individuals are not targeted in a way that silences them, and to protect people from being attacked for being members of particular groups that have been historically marginalised. My tweet, however, was not addressed to an individual, but to a political organisation. I was not threatening them or attempting to incite violence against them, and I was not making any comment which was derogatory to them with respect to who they *are.* I was, rather, commenting on an aspect of their political behaviour, which, I would strongly argue, is within the purview of legitimate political critique within a democracy. As I mentioned above, the behaviour I was criticising was disseminating a political view through the use of repetitive slogans because it bears a resemblance to cult-like brain-washing techniques, and is therefore something about which we may have legitimate political concerns. I want our public discourse to consist of robust and open debate, and I am deeply worried about the way our political lives are becoming dominated by sound-bites and slogans that close down discussion and thinking. As twitter is a forum for political discussion, I hope also that the value of political critique is one you share with me. Indeed, in your guidelines you say that you are concerned to make sure that everyone can express their political ‘opinions and beliefs without barriers.’ I would hope, therefore, that you will reconsider in this case, and recognise that I was not directing hatred towards a group because of their identity, but was expressing a political opinion with respect to an aspect of a political organisation’s political behaviour.
OMG. I am flattered and that is FREAKY.
ETA3: If you want to subscribe to the blog, please use the follow button on the side menu.
You have all of our support. And we will talk about this, when you come on my program at BloggingHeads. Hang in there!
Thank you Daniel.
You will be missed …. a lot! I came across your Twitter via Graham and I have learnt a lot. I hope your appeal is successful as you do an amazing job on that platform.
Outrageous, unfair, bonkers decision. I honestly can’t say how much I’ll miss you. It will be exhausting trying to stem the deluge of bullshit on Twitter without your incisive input.
Solidarity ! I have been locked out of my twitter account for a week, for no reason. They are ignoring my appeals and are demanding a phone number (unacceptable breach of privacy and safety).
At the end of it, even if people are allowed back it, it fractures the discussion, we lose our work, it is time and aggravation people can do without – which is what the trans activists are aiming for.
Twitter is complicit. They are making political and editorial decisions – not “just a platform” (with the advantages that entails for themselves) as they claim.
Sending you love, respect, and solidarity! I’ve been following you on WordPress for a while and I’m glad you’re still here. I’ll miss your Prince appreciation posts on Twitter as much as your political and philosophical ones. Hope you’ll be back soon!
I hope Twitter comes to its senses and reverses it’s stupid decision. Its a real blow for us all that youve been suspended. I’ve learnt such a lot from you so fingers crossed xx.
I am raging. Not the strength to write much else.
To my shame I’m personally afraid to publicly voice my support on social media for the brave stand you (and others) are taking on this Jane – but know I am in support. I work in the charity sector and have seen how this situation is scarily becoming normalised. Everyone is afraid to speak out, even though there will be some (like myself) who are analytical/critical enough to know it isn’t right/ethical. I wish there was more but I feel the activists have won this battle, if not the war. There is no platform to question the mantra, well none that doesn’t shut you down for doing so. People are getting hurt by this situation. Not just right now either – the damage will continue for the rest of their lives. We are failing so many young people especially. I feel this is going to blow up very soon, but there has already been too many casualties along the way. Stay strong, keep fighting – you have a voice and a following that is valued.
I would never have found your writing, from which I have learned a great deal, if it weren’t for Twitter. I am outraged on your behalf and I miss your presence on my timeline.
Solidarity Jane. Alas I can’t show my solidarity on a twitter due to my own 12 hour suspension for a limerick crime against He Who Shall Not Be Named, but once I’m back I’ll be joining the throngs there calling for your return too.
I’m so outraged at your anti-feminist no-platforming–because that’s what it is, isn’t it?–that I’m practically shooting flames out of my fingertips. Your account has been one of the few I’ve read regularly, even though I’m not on Twitter, for your mix of feminism, cool logic, and righteous anger.
Your essays on this blog have been a joy to read, as well, and I’ll be back here–no doubt with many others–looking for the next piece of writing. Also, wishing success to you and the Institute!
Adding my voice to the chorus of solidarity and support. I love your pin-sharp writing: I’ve learned much. I have never been able to interact on Twitter because they have repeatedly prevented me from registering, as I can’t use a phone. But I have read you, and other GC writers on there, from the shadows. Thank you for your (seemingly) tireless efforts.
Helen Staniland has had her suspension overturned, and is kicking off about yours, so hopefully you’ll be back soon. Love this website.👍
I’ve got a huge amount of respect for you, really hope you can get your account back soon.
We are wondering if there might be a new twitter account @lightvesselautomatic appearing soon. Coincidentally.
I fear they really do know what they’re doing, and are silencing you as one of the most intelligent, sharp-minded, analytical – and witty to boot – minds writing in the twittersphere and, fortunately, in the blogosphere also. Your work is massively valued and removal from Twitter – short or long-term – will bring more people to your blog, that’s for sure.
Glad to see your defense worked and you’re back on Twitter!
So, those who were annoyed at you for calling them cultists thought the best way to prove they weren’t was to suppress your opinion? Some people really need to spend more time thinking things through.