My bird site account was locked in the middle of the night, seemingly out of the blue, for something I said deep inside a thread two weeks ago.

The thread consists of me analysing video stills of Putin, particularly the lightning, which strongly suggests he is not in his normal office.

I attached the entire thing, including the "offending" tweet. I find it totally implausible that Twitter itself feels the victim of "targeted harassment". Yet they denied the (first) appeal. So what's going on?

One of the more sneaky things the bird site does, is to lock you of your account, but keep that a secret to the outside world.

People can still see my profile, reply to my tweets and even send me DM's. But I can't open them, can't reply to them and need to use alternative channels to even inform them what's going on.

"all" I need to do is remove the tweet though, then they'll stop the extortion. Very nice high pressure technique.

Bird site link to the thread: twitter.com/provoost/status/15

I have roughly two theories of what happened:

1. Russian intelligence / troll army is looking to take down anything negative of Putin (or that harms the Tsar's opsec).

If that's the case, it's an impressive move. Rather than just having a bot army report all my tweets, they found something the algorithm and many clueless moderators* would actually think is harassment.

* = I suspect the appeal process is mostly automated too, the first appeal was denied in about a minute

2. Someone got butt hurt by something I said, went through all my recent tweets and just reported everything they thought would stand a chance.

However, to get to this tweet would have taken a LOT of scrolling.

Perhaps they used search terms to find it more quickly.

The list of people I've not been super nice to is rather long though, which makes it tricky to hone in on any particular suspect.

I was thinking that the act of falsely reporting tweets in order to get an account taken down, is probably something in the legal category of vandalism, destruction of property or even hacking (manipulating a computer system in order to make it do things that cause harm).

Perhaps that's enough ground to subpoena Twitter for contact details of whoever did this.

Though that all sounds like too much work. Also, suing for damages under Dutch law is futile, and touching the US legal system is meh.

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@sjors
Not good. Twitter should not censor people. They should ban bots instead. No platform is perfect though. Even mastodon.social (the instance I'm in) may have flaws.

@sandbeach123 the nice thing about Mastodon is that you can just move yourself AND your followers to a new instance if the current instance misbehaves.

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