Suspended From Twitter (Again)


Those who follow me on Twitter (@Gspellchecker) may have noticed my account is currently suspended. I am yet to receive a reason from the powers that be, but I have filed an appeal for it to be lifted whilst I wait. Going from past experience, the turnaround for an official response could be anything between 24 hours to 30 days.

This isn’t the first time I have been suspended. The last time was January 2015, news of which even making The Independent newspaper.

An open letter I blogged back then detailed my thoughts on what I think is going on with Twitter’s suspension process. Unfortunately, not much as changed except to say that I think Twitter’s approach to such matters has worsened rather than improved in the intervening years.

In short, when I finally do hear back from Twitter, I am usually told I have violated their rules regarding ‘targeted abuse’. I ask for examples of this every time, but never receive any.

I comment on things people say publicly. I’m critical, but never abusive. To be clear, I have never so much as used a single expletive on Twitter. Nor abused anyone, endorsed any abusive sentiment or encouraged others to be abusive or target others. All the time whilst receiving abuse and harassment myself. And you know what I do? I ignore it, block them, reply or do something else for a bit. It seems to me any adult is capable of taking these steps.

If the way in which I operate on Twitter falls afoul of their terms and conditions, but neo Nazis, racists, homophobes, ISIS members and the KKK are left to flourish, I’d suggest Twitter need to revaluate their concerns.

But I don’t blame Twitter so much. They have to be seen to be tackling the problem of online abuse and can’t possibly have the manpower to put human eyes on every reported tweet. I very much doubt Twitter even knows or cares who I am, but has an algorithm making automated decisions in response to the reports they are receiving.

Yes, yes – “Twitter is a private company and can ban anyone they like”. Absolutely they can. No doubt about it. But if they are going to ban people like me they should retract the claim that they are ‘the free speech wing of the free speech party’.

The simple truth of the matter is this: someone, or a number of people simply don’t like me very much and have filed bogus reports in order to try and shut me up. They do this not because they believe they been ‘abused’ by me, but because they know they have been exposed by me.

Well, I’m not going to shut up.

I’ll keep you updated on any developments, but in the meantime you can ensure you don’t miss a thing by:

Please share this blog with anyone you think might be interested.

I’ve noticed the many comments of support (and dismay) since my suspension from those of you demanding answers from Twitter. I’m incredibly grateful for this, thank you.

Stephen Knight is host of The #GSPodcast. You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.


  • Let’s guess. Did Twitter receive complaints about you from a certain Patheos “punch a Nazi” blogger, one whose conduct actually does violate Twitter’s policies, unlike yours?

  • We’ve got a serious problem here. Even if a social network was completely politically unbiased in banning and contend feeding (which I would like to see all of them sign up to), free-speech advocates would still have a problem.
    If one side of the debate is debating, but the other side is debating and banning, we’ve got a major struggle ahead of us.

  • Will be anxious to hear the outcome. Meanwhile, keep fighting the good (in every sense of the word) fight!

  • Must. Not. Be. Critical. Of. Islam. (that, I guess was your crime Stephen)

What do you think? Leave some comments!