Duct tape mouth selfie: AKA I’ve been maliciously reported and suspended

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:

  • TERFs
  • MRAs
  • Neo-Nazis
  • FBPE
  • 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.


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3 thoughts on “Duct tape mouth selfie: AKA I’ve been maliciously reported and suspended”

  1. My money is on the guys who imagine fucking an F1 car while they jerk off. They need to read Chuck Tingle and jerk off like normal people.

  2. Ridiculous. Meanwhile in Ireland, there’s a concerted campaign of transphobia by a few people, begun in response to the #TerfsOut letter, and largely targeted at one specific trans woman (who had nothing to do with the letter), which is not abusive according to Twitter.

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