Tag Archives: godless spellchecker

My Appearance On BBC’s ‘The Big Questions’


I always make sure I tune in to The Big Question on the BBC for some entertaining religious debate. I’ve been in the audience a few times, but last Saturday on the 14th May I was invited along to be a featured guest. The two questions I was brought in to discuss were: “Do we have the right not to be offended?” and “Is death easier if you believe in god?”.

I think it went well enough for my first live TV appearance. I’m especially pleased to have raised awareness of ex-Muslims on the UK’s largest broadcaster, much to the chagrin of the Muslim gentleman sat behind me.

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QED Con, Trigger Warnings, Dillahunting and an Ockham Award


recordingI had the pleasure of attending my first ever QEDcon this weekend in Manchester. The convention is a wonderful mix of interesting and often hilarious talks and panels on topics related to science & scepticism. As well as the fantastic speakers, there’s also an infectious, friendly vibe that permeates through the whole occasion thanks to the passion and good nature of the attendees. I thoroughly recommend taking a look at the guest speakers and seeking out their work, as well as coming along in 2016 if you can. Read more

Clarifying A News Article Mentioning Me

IndyImageI recently gave a brief interview to The Independent on the topic of my Twitter suspension and free speech.  I’m as surprised as you are.

This is the first of, the admittedly few, media requests I’ve accepted.  I’ve no desire for the attention and I’m always mindful of the intentions of those wishing to speak to me.

After a brief email back and forth with the friendly journalist at The Independent, it became apparent that they were genuinely interested in reporting on the topics at hand, rather than sensationalism – so I decided it was worthwhile to have a discussion. I’m pleasantly surprised and pleased with being accurately quoted and having the larger issues highlighted in the piece.  Seems my cynicism towards journalism was misplaced on this occasion.

This has led to a follow-up opinion piece in The Telegraph, which is perfectly fine and well, but given I’ve had accusations of ‘targeting’ before, I feel compelled to address a misconception in the article (emphasis Mine):

I also knew I didn’t want to get into quick-fire religious debate, the kind that was exemplified in yesterday’s news story about an atheist tweeter called the ‘Godless Spellchecker’, who had been temporarily suspended from the site for apparently abusing the (mainly Muslim) religious tweeters he disagreed with – a story which ended up seeming all the more poignant as the horrific, incomprehensive events in Paris unfolded.

I’m grateful that the article also reiterates that I am in fact innocent of any abuse on Twitter, but the above paragraph appears to suggest my account mostly targets (or abuses) actual Muslims. This is objectively false.  Yes, it is true that I’m especially critical of Islamism over other ideologies – and my criticism of it is considerably more frequent.

I see nothing sinister in giving special attention to the current most dangerous strain of Abrahamic Faith.  Perhaps I’ve misread and the article is actually saying it was predominantly Muslims who complained about my account.  Still, there is no way to confirm if this is actually true.

However, for the sake of clarification on my part; interactions with actual Muslims are particularly rare.  In fact, the majority of my interactions are of the Christian Zealot flavour.  I’d say the overwhelming amount of misspelled anti-atheist sentiment I respond to on Twitter comes via a Christian denomination.  Who knows what I’d discover were I to learn Arabic though.

When I interact with Christians I’m often told I ‘wouldn’t dare criticise Islam in the same way’, and when I criticise Islam, I’m informed of my potent ‘Islamophobia’.  The game is rigged, but I enjoy playing anyway.

You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.


Twitter reinstates my account: A huge thank you



I recently blogged an open letter to Twitter after they informed me that my Twitter account @GSpellchecker would be ‘permanently suspended’.  This produced a flurry of interest and support on a scale far greater than I had anticipated nor experienced for anything else I’ve been involved with before. It seems my fellow Twitter compadres have a potent dislike for injustice.

Well, today my Twitter account was reinstated in record time and I received an apology email from Twitter.  Hurrah!

Although the email (pictured above) is generic and unrevealing, it is the desired and correct decision from Twitter.  Below is my brief reply to it:


Thank you for your prompt and positive response.

I would please urge you to review and investigate the individual, or individuals responsible for these bogus reports – and review any other suspensions they’ve caused as I’m aware I’m not their only victim.

Thanks again,

It does appear to confirm my suspicions however – individuals (or an individual) are making bogus reports of ‘abuse or harassment’ to silence criticism, or people they simply do not like.  This is clear given the ‘review’ carried out by Twitter deemed the initial reports against me were not substantive enough to warrant the suspension or banning.

It’s amusing to note just how much this attempt to shut me down has backfired; indeed as a result, my blog visits have hit record numbers and downloads of my podcast have spiked.  Not to mention my Twitter ‘followers’ have now crossed a 50,000 milestone.  I’ve also had media enquiries and received my first new Patreon supporter in weeks.  So, I suppose this is a thank you to those responsible for my suspension too.

As before, I will continue to use my voice to critique bad ideas and their ideologues, with civility – but without abuse or dilution.

I will always oppose abuse and harassment in all its forms, but it’s equally important that those who wish to stifle legitimate criticism, satire and dissent via disingenuous tactics be exposed and held to account for their behaviour also.  I hope Twitter takes a good look at the responsible parties in this instance and revokes the privileges that allow them to influence automatic suspensions and bans.

I want to say a HUGE thank you to those of you who’ve shared my open letter, contacted Twitter on my behalf and sent messages of support my way.  For the first time since joining Twitter I’ve actually been unable to cope with the sheer volume of tweets coming my way, so I apologise if I’ve not replied to your well-wishes, but please know it’s appreciated and has not gone unnoticed.  It’s overwhelming, thank you.

You can listen to The Godless Spellchecker Podcast here, and support it by becoming a patron here.

Permanent Suspension: An Open letter to Twitter #09914411

Image Source: http://fnrrfygmschnish.deviantart.com/art/Stop-Sign-Graveyard-2-333610090

Image Source: http://fnrrfygmschnish.deviantart.com/art/Stop-Sign-Graveyard-2-333610090

Update 06/12/2015- My main account has been fully restored. A HUGE thank you to everyone who shared this page and asked questions on my behalf. It means a lot. Reason has prevailed!

After several suspensions, Twitter has decided to ban me permanently.  The reasons given are usually violations of their terms and services related to ‘Targeted abuse or harassment’.  Even though I ask, I’ve never received a single example of my engagement in this behaviour.  I don’t believe the big wigs at Twitter are being anti-atheist, or anti free-speech, or any other such silly victim nonsense, but rather a flawed and automated reporting system is being abused to silence criticism.  My lofty goal with the below open letter is to prompt an actual human being at Twitter to review my case and provide me with some feedback as to what exactly I tweeted that was deserving of permanent suspension from Twitter.  Please share this post and amplify it to Twitter execs, @Support and those with influence in the ‘atheist community’ etc:

Case Id #09914411

Dear Twitter,

I joined your micro blogging service back in 2012, when ‘join the conversation’ was the mantra. And join it I did, and I fell in love with you immediately. I created the account @Gspellchecker when I noticed a steady stream of badly spelled anti-atheist bigotry and hate working through the Twitter servers. I decided before I’d even sent my very first tweet that I’d never use a single expletive, engage in any abuse, nor reward or encourage any such behaviour from those kind enough to follow me. I kept to that set of ethics right up until my permanent suspension in Jan 2015 where I was forced to bow out to a total of 49,600 followers.

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