There’s a story I tell about my childhood transition from six years of Catholic school in Kansas City to the public school system in the Chicago suburbs.
Suffice it to say there were…differences…between the two environments. In Catholic school I was an altar boy, incredibly sanctimonious, indoctrinated into Catholic doctrine, and probably on the fast track to be the first American Pope. A few short months later as I hit middle school in the Buffalo Grove School District I was frantically trying to keep my head above water socially and stumbling through a process by which I might become a thinking human being again.
The punch line to the story is, “I started that summer thinking that if I told someone to ‘go to Hell,’ the ground would open up at my feet and Satan would personally appear to escort me to Hell on the spot. By the end of the summer, I was telling people to fuck off and not thinking twice about it.”
That line came back to me today as I’ve been put in 12-hour Twitter Timeout for “potentially abusive behavior” when the only thing I can think of that I possibly would have done is tell some wannabe bot account to “go to Hell.”
Who knew that my pre-teen psychological terrors would come to life fifty-plus years later courtesy of an overly aggressive Twitter algorithm?
(Warning – my Twitter presence is much more political and swear-ish than this site. I don’t suffer fools gladly, and there are a lot of them over on Twitter.)
Perusing my timeline this afternoon, I ran across this:
Bullshit right-wing propaganda, probably from a bot account. I was in the mood to respond, as I had been to similar subhuman cretins for a while.
“…some potentially abusive behavior…”
I don’t see it. If we can’t call a lie a lie and call a liar a liar, we’ve lost. It’s a bot, so the account should be deleted. If somehow it’s actually a human, they really do need to think about their life choices.
And then I said “Please go to Hell.” I didn’t even remember saying “please.” How is that “potentially abusive?”
About half a second after posting this, I got a message from Twitter:
The only thing I can think now is that it might be coincidental that this notice showed up just as I posted that particular response. I had been on a roll for an hour or so. Nothing anywhere near meeting any rational definition of “abusive” or “threatening”, but I do recall the phrase “SHUT THE FUCK UP!” being used several times. It was sort of a theme for the day, in particular to a string of right-wing, wannabe fascists who think that…
Let’s say that we strongly disagree on a number of political and social topics and our visions for the future of our country are highly divergent.
In “Bull Durham” (an all-time favorite film) Crash Davis only gets thrown out of a game by an umpire after using a certain “magic word” in an argument. Maybe I’ll try that next time. At least then I’ll know WHY I’m being put in Twitter Timeout!