Back in 2016, I tweeted concerns that twitter abuse guidelines would be used more to silence women who tweeted confrontational feminist slogans, than actual misogynists.
Unfortunately, I can’t link to the tweet, because it was reported and I’ve been suspended from Twitter.
Yep, I’m on the naughty step. I’m on the wrong end of a malicious reporting binge which is a tactic being increasingly used to silence voices.
I’ve been wracking my brains to think of who I’ve pissed off this week, and the shortlist is:
- Men who feel deeply personally invested in maintaining sexism in motorsports
- The journalistic establishment
I admit it’s not a great list; the overlap between categories is pretty strong.
This time it was my turn. But I’ve seen it happen before to friends of mine, predominantly women of colour: outspoken women who speak truth to power, and therefore power wants them silenced.
Let me talk a little about what happened to me, and how you can spot malicious reporting, and avoid it yourself. It’s a tactic used to silence.
What I can see happened, as clear as day, was that someone (or some people) did a search on my old tweets, looking for tweets using a particular confrontational feminist slogan (“Kill all men”, if you’re interested. If you want to learn more about the meaning of the slogan, here’s something I wrote years ago, when it was an active slogan and I made the tweets). Now, I know a search was run, because phrasing within the reported tweets was identical, and the tweets were years apart. So, off the bat, we have abuse of reporting rules: we have someone seeking out offensive material to silence a woman.
They’ve also been abusing the process in other ways, using a “slice and dice” approach. I was first suspended on Sunday, for 12 hours. I returned. Then, once again, I was reported, for tweets containing–you guessed it–identical phrasing, just to bump me off again. This time, I’m on the naughty step for a week.
I’m planning on deleting all old tweets, so please don’t worry if conversations go missing. I’ll be sad to lose them, but it has to be done. I can’t deal with this form of harassment, this concerted attempt to silence me.
In the meantime, avenge me. Kick up a stink and share this blog. Demand to have me back. Go all #jesuisstavvers. Raise awareness, and take a mo to delete your old archive, too.
Oh, and follow me on my alt, @thestavvening. I’m not using it much this week, because I figured I’d use my time out as a little social media holiday–might as well take a break! But it’s worth following the account, because there’s a very effective tactic for silencing women, and I wouldn’t put it past the trolls to try to pull this shit again in the future.