This month I am celebrating a decade on Twitter, my favorite social media platform. I have somehow tweeted almost 137,000 times. My feed is a mix of nonprofit related content, marketing, some sports (especially Boston teams), 80s music and pop culture, humor and yes, snark and sarcasm. But it’s that beautiful blend of snark and sarcasm that make Twitter what it is for me: Entertaining. Until today…

10 Yards For Tweeting

Late last night my friend Tzvi posted the following tweet: Tzvi Zucker's tweet He and I have been going back and forth on Twitter for years, mostly sarcastic replies to each other. So I replied: Ephraim Gopin's tweet That tweet is just ooooozing sarcasm. To be perfectly honest: I am well aware there’s a global pandemic. I am very serious about social distancing, masks, not going out and have been very vocal on Twitter criticizing both my local government and fellow citizens for the way they have completely bungled their response to the pandemic.

I am also extremely aware of the misinformation that is being spread out there. Hence my sarcasm about the whole 5g being injected into people. The robots at Twitter don’t understand sarcasm apparently. They flagged my tweet. And here’s what I received via email from Twitter: Ephraim Gopin's tweet is flagged by Twitter

According to Twitter, I violated their rules against “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to Covid-19” and they have temporarily limited what I can do with my account.

An Appeal To Humanity

At first I was shocked. Not a single one of my tweets have been flagged for violating Twitter’s rules. Then I laughed. Outloud. Heartily.

I called my buddy Tzvi and told him of the mayhem he had caused. He had a very good laugh!

But now I needed to take care of business. My account would be shut for half a day. In the meantime, I had to make a decision: Remove the “offending” tweet or appeal Twitter’s decision? I considered my options:

  • If I remove, I am “admitting guilt.” But beyond that, if I remove the tweet, will Twitter’s electronic monitoring system now be paying extra attention to my tweets? Does Twitter have a 3 strikes and you’re out policy?
  • If I appeal, does the appeal actually get seen by a human? Or as Tzvi said: Does a robot have to fix the mistake of another robot?

And here’s the thing: I understand that Twitter as a company cannot afford to hire tens of thousands of people to review every one of the millions of tweets sent daily. So they have an electronic system in place to monitor and flag tweets they deem to violate their Terms of Service. All good. On the other hand, that means that snark, sarcasm, certain emotions and use of language will not be understood by their systems. Or maybe it is and the reason my tweet was flagged was because of Corona sensitivity. I don’t know. But I’m all about #AlwaysBeLearning and I wanted to see how Twitter handles appeals. So I appealed.

Waiting For An Email

When you appeal, Twitter allows you to add your own personal plea. My goal was to try and add context to my tweet. Unfortunately, Twitter limits your verbal appeal to 159 characters. A little bit more than the old 140-character tweet limit. I had a lot to say and little room to express myself. I went thru 6 different versions of what I wanted to send. Some of them included snark. In the end, I went with this: An appeal to humanity Which led to this: Ephraim Gopin waits for Twitter to answer his appeal So now I wait. I can’t access my account. My Twitter voice will be silent until they have reviewed my appeal of their flagging. Which led to this comment from Tzvi: “You’ve been de-personed.”

I love Twitter. I’ve built up a worldwide network of professionals in various fields by engaging and interacting with them on twitter. Number of followers? Never mattered to me. I DO care about being able to help people. I love to discuss and learn from experts about marketing, fundraising, communications and numerous other subjects. But for now, I’ll have to do without it.

All good. I eagerly await an email from Twitter’s team. Let’s see if their judges will accept my appeal of their decision. If not, at least I tried.

P.S. The above happened Monday January 25th. This morning, the 26th, I got an email from Twitter inviting me to log on, go to Twitter and see tweets about the latest news and events. When I click the links, I can’t see the tweets because…I’m locked out of my account. 🙄

I help nonprofits build relationships and raise more funds so they can increase program offerings and assist more service recipients in their community. If your fundraising and marketing need an upgrade, let’s talk! Together we’ll ensure your marketing is helping and improving your fundraising efforts.