Yesterday I was in attendance at London Pride to report on the planned march by the Exmuslim Council Of Britain. It was incredible. I was particulaly touched to see the wonderul reception from the crowds to the ex-Muslim message.
I posted images on my Twitter feed of some of the placcards from the march, such as the one below:
Members of the march can be seen holding signs saying “Allah is Gay”.
I then woke up to a storm of abuse and threats from adherents of the religion of peace. And a concerted effort to get my Twitter account banned. As I type this my entire twitter feed is consumed with outrage that doesn’t show any signs of letting up soon. For want of a better expression, this seems to be really blowing up.
After much deliberation, I made the pre-emptive decision to delete the images from my Twitter timeline. Which is annoying.
Please don’t misunderstand this decision. I support this message from the CEMB and I will not apologise for posting the tweets. That’s why they will remain on this blog (where I can’t be banned). And if online threats and abuse fazed me, I would have deleted my Twitter account a long time ago.
And that’s why I’ll also be releasing video coverage of the event at some point in the future (containing the exact same imagery) to further promote the ex-Muslim message. And I’ll be using my Twitter account to encourage you to share this footage far and wide. I want these things to be seen. But if I lose my 56k strong Twitter following, this will really limit my ability to get the maximum number of ears and eyes on my content/reports. Given the current social media climate and my previous bans, I now unfortunately need to be tactical with my Twitter output.
That’s where we are now with social media and bans. I am someone who has been repeatedly suspended from Twitter for bogus reasons as you can read here. I’m very much on my last life. I simply don’t trust Twitter to do the right thing on this point. I suppose from a social media perspective, I am not immune from the chilling effect on freedom of expression which has been nurtured by the endless Twitter bans and suspensions for seemingly spurious reasons, some of which have been directly related to criticim of Islam.
I have to decide whether to risk losing my sizeable twitter reach over this, or keep my account and be able to share my blogs, videos, podcasts etc which will continue to contain robust criticism of Islam and promotion of exmuslims.
It’s an odd paradox where opinions and images posted directly to Twitter can earn you a ban, but external links to podcasts, blogs and Youtube videos with the same content are less likely to do so.
I hope you understand this sad, sad decision. And I’m sorry I had to make it.
Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.