Friday, June 19, 2009
Well, I think it's now official. Nearly a week (6 days and 1/2) after working with other members of the African-American community (and a few members of the European community who stepped forward), to honor the Ancestors who endured the horrors of the Middle Passage by raising awareness about the #Maafa ocean ritual held annually by Medgar Evers College, my hashtags have been shut down.
I had strong suspicion that I was being censored and sent two tweets to Twitter to ask why, but received no response. Mind you I have been a serious Twitter cheerleader and love the idea of micro-blogging (no matter which company hosts space for it-- there will surely be many as time goes on), but it seems the Twitter company feels it has the right to shut us down when it sees fit. After all, the #Maafa Ocean Ritual awareness raising was for a good cause. We cannot forget the past if we intend a balanced world for the future. The ancestors must be respected and given due justice so they can rest in peace. How is recognizing them offensive?
Is the honoring of the Ancestors so revolutionary an idea that Twitter.com can't handle an average of 900 tweets from African-Americans who wished to revere their ancestors and help other members of the community and other communities who may be interested, to become aware of annual rituals that honor the ancestors who suffered and fought for the freedoms diverse society enjoys?
For obvious reasons my microblogs ( I'd rather not call them tweets and further empower a brand that censors its users unnecessarily) now come through Friendfeed.com and I am steadily on the look out for other microblogging solutions because factually, if Twitter censored my hashtags for organizing an honoring of Ancestors, they will censor the next person for whatever reason they choose.
6 1/2 days later, it is clear that the censoring of my hashtags is not an API issue.
If you're as disturbed by their censorship as I am, why not ask them why they choose to shut down hashtags that members use for the cause of honoring Ancestral/Cultural ties, and if this is a practice they plan to use against other members arbitrarily and without question or warning moving forward? It could be you or someone close to you next. Better to check them now before their ego becomes too massive.
They may not ever win me back as a loving 'Twitterer' [my entries come through Friendfeed.com and repost on Twitter only because there are still people I dig communicating with that haven't joined Friendfeed or another feed like Laconi.ca or others yet], but they can redeem themselves by cleaning up behaviors that have resulted from taking the wrong turn down the road of misused influence [or interpretation of power]. They are very popular now, but Myspace was also extremely popular at one time, before an able competitor arose...
If my Twitter profile mysteriously disappears after this writing, you can find me at Friendfeed.com/PurpleZoe . I've backed up my Twitter-based microblogs with Tweetbackup.com and Tweetake.com, so I can repost them elsewhere if need be [I strongly suggest you back-up your Twitter microblogs even if only because they've been known to lose 'tweets' when they're working on the site. Friendfeed automatically retweets your microblogs on its feed if you set it up, so they're also a decent option for online back-up but I do recommend both tweetbackup.com and tweetake.com to be extra safe].
I truly appreciate the beautiful people that fuel the Twitterverse, but I am quite disappointed with the 'keepers' of the internet dimension itself. They should be ashamed and know, no good comes from abuse of influence. It always comes back to haunt.
If you're as concerned as I am, please RT:
' Mass RT Why do you censor members for honoring their Ancestors and Culture through #Maafa? #censorship @Twitter '
Continue to shine your light and raise your fists for what you believe in. In a world sorely needing a reality check about priorities, censorship of important community focuses have suspicious motives and can't be tolerated. Anywhere.
note: If you know of other #mibl sites [Microblog sites] spread the word. You can drop it in the comments and I'll spread the word too.
There are other options for #hashtags: Search hashtags through Twingly.com See the right sidebar for various microblogging platforms you'd like to have show up in results.