Popehat suspended from Twitter for sharing a threat he received (Update: unsuspended)

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/08/03/popehat-suspended-from-twitter.html


wow twitter probably picked the wrong guy to lock out as far as publicity goes.


I search the entire cosmos for something positive to say about Twitter, and come up empty handed.


Facebook does the same thing. My friend’s feminist group gets suspended regularly for posting threats that she’s already been told “do not violate our community standards”. Once, she was suspended for saying that she’d been suspended.


I can hardly contain my shock.


Ah, twitter. Still committed enough to ‘free speech’(and low moderation costs) to keep the nazis; but not committed enough to keep the interesting and hilarious free speech advocates.

Now I feel even less bad about reports that twitter MAU is in the toilet, despite having been elevated to de-facto state media organ; and they continue to have a more plausible trajectory toward a liquidation captioned “And nothing of value was lost” than toward profitability.


Twitter is a private company. It has every right to suspend me or kick me off, however foolish its reason. It’s got the right to free speech and free association. My rights have not been violated. I am not a victim. When you use a “free” service like Twitter and Facebook, you’re buying into the policies and attitudes they pursue, for better or worse. Want a platform with no dumb policies? Create one or pay for one.

So… uh… do I put the pitchforks and torches away, or not? I’m confused… I am not used to a rational, measured response on the internet. It is making me question if we are really living in a simulation or not.


“my shock runeth over”


You would think a guy licensed in 3 states and DC would know not to send threats like that…


Woah, while going down this rabbit hole with the back story, I saw this:

Which several people are calling a mistake.


He’s being accused of something unrelated.


Van Dyke sure sounds like an A+ winner kinda guy. https://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2017/apr/22/da-faces-employment-lawsuit/


This guy’s been making a fool of himself on Twitter for a while now, and just got angrier and angrier that Ken laughed at him. I have to admit, it was amusing. Twitter might be a private company, but if they don’t restore Ken’s account along with the tweet linking to the threatening email he was sent, then fuck Twitter.

Incidentally, this is nothing new. Twitter has been banning accounts for pushing back on bullies and psychos for a while now, while leaving the bullies and psychos across the political spectrum to spew hate speech, threats and mob harassment worthy of Alex Jones and his ilk. The main difference is that Ken is too honorable to make a new account if he’s banned.

Eventually, if they keep going like they’re going, Twitter will be nothing but bigotry and cats.


Is he a Communist ?


I believe the current fashion in trumped up charges is terrorist.


That’s why he’s one of the treasures of the internet.


Twitter’s behavior reminds me of a poorly trained neural network with insufficient neurons to do the job required of it—the output just randomly jerks around the place and makes more of a mess than (you’d think) even a stupid bad wrong algorithm ought to do.

See, sorting even moderately controversial speech from something that is harassment (or just noise) as judged by some sort of vague broad social consensus is a tough job for humans. Algorithms just throw their digital arms up in despair, as anyone who’s taken the thirty seconds necessary to break Google’s moderation algorithm that was written about on BoingBoing some months back can attest. And humans cost money. Quite a lot of money given that reading an endless stream of meaningless drivel that makes up Twitter would break the minds of even the strong in, oooh, I don’t know. Fifteen minutes? Tops?

And Twitter and Facebook and so on will never, ever, ever pay that money. Not ever. What they need is action so that nobody can say they do nothing. So they randomly emit policy shifts, draconian punishments, and bizarre decisions and this keeps things ticking over in that very special dysfunctional way.

You could fix it by posting everything and then allowing people to fine-tune what they see and what of theirs is seen very carefully but that would raise the concentration needed to use the service (at which point ‘is 140 characters worth it?’ becomes a question) and, further, would make it easier to avoid those tweets that mean to sell you stuff and Twitter would very much like if you saw a lot of those.

So we get this, utterly dysfunctional, version.

Personally, I’ve been hoping that people would wake up one day, look at Twitter, and go “W–why on Earth did we even use this? This is terrible.” and abandon it altogether.

Been, what, ten years, and I’m still hoping.


He was accused of making the Kronos malware, it appears.

Old school!

#vampire undernet
#paintball undernet
#paintball efnet

I’ve heard of him, seen some of his stuff, but yes, just spent over half an hour reading stuff. Well done.

This Van Dyke guy, when it’s all over, best case scenario is he is a manager of a Cinnabon some where.


I’ve been following the Van Dyke saga. Van Dyke is an awful human who should have his law license taken away for threatening physical violence against multiple people and disgracing the legal profession.