• Twitter Suspends Me Forever

    August 7, 2018

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Post-Constitution America



    Some readers are aware I have been permanently suspended from Twitter as @wemeantwell.

    This followed exchanges with several mainstream journalists over their support for America’s wars and unwillingness to challenge the lies of government. After two days of silence, Twitter sent me an auto-response saying what I wrote “harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence someone else’s voice.”

    I don’t think I did any of that, and I wish you didn’t have to accept my word on it. I wish instead you could read what I wrote and decide for yourself. But Twitter won’t allow that. Twitter says you cannot read and make up your own mind. They have in fact eliminated all the things I have ever written there over seven years, disappeared me down the Memory Hole. That’s what censorship does; it takes the power to decide what is right and wrong away from you and gives it to someone else.

    Hate what I write, hate me, block me, don’t buy my books, but please don’t celebrate handing over those choices to some company.

    I lost my career at the State Department because I spoke out as a whistleblower against the Iraq War. I’ve now been silenced, again, for speaking, this time by a corporation. I am living in the America I always feared.








    UPDATE: I’ve made a mistake. I was wrong to criticize the government, wrong to criticize journalists, wrong to oppose war. In fact, after much reflection, I have come to understand that I Love Big Brother.



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    Copyright © 2018. All rights reserved. The views expressed here are solely those of the author(s) in their private capacity. Follow me on Twitter!

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...

      1

      Twitter stock is disappearing from investor portfolios.

      08/7/18 8:43 AM | Comment Link

    • Rodney R said...

      2

      Laughable and infuriating at the same time.

      I’d like to know how Twitter arrives at the decision to ban you. Is it an algorithm? Someone working for peanuts abroad?

      You’re better off being out of that sewer.

      08/7/18 9:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Bill Owen said...

      3

      Very sad to hear this Peter. I expect that I am not long for that world either. Twitter has an agenda and it’s not one I agree with.

      We need to build a ‘free’ alternative to Twitter.

      08/7/18 10:24 AM | Comment Link

    • Kyle said...

      4

      Disappointed to see you go.

      I’d really grown to hate you for your reactionary social stances, but nobody deserves to be silenced for criticizing corporate media and american imperialism.

      08/7/18 12:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Fallo Ings said...

      5

      If being banned from Twitter means you will post on this blog more often, then at least consider there is a silver lining!

      The rise of censorship of anyone who does not fully support the government decisions seems to becoming the norm – at least in the English speaking “Western Democracies” – following the elsction of Trump and the “Russian interference” hysteria.

      I have often sought out alternate opinions, and watched/read media by people with whom I deeply disagree. I don’t want to be stuck in an echo chamber, I only learn and grow when I am challenged to think and research for myself.

      I appreciate your writing immensely, even when I do not like or agree with what you say (seldom).

      08/7/18 2:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      6

      Friends don’t let friends tweet.

      08/7/18 3:02 PM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...

      7

      First you whistled, then tweeted and now you’re out? Aren’t you granted one more infraction as defined by the gate keepers of empire before being banished from the game? What happened to the ole three strikes thingee?

      08/7/18 4:07 PM | Comment Link

    • tom seifert said...

      8

      Anyone able to reconstruct the critical tweets that caused all this brouhaha? It’s like missing the cliffhanger finale after following every episode with analytical intensity. PVB is one of the few that make twitter readable and if he was a little too in-your-face causing some to be discombobulated then that’s the price of a stimulating read and warding off Alzheimer’s. Hey twitter, those 7 years of archives could inspire a Netflix series or two so enough with the book burning Spanish inquisition 1950’s parochial grade school stuff OK?

      08/7/18 4:31 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...

      9

      Peter obviously has been on double secret probation.

      08/7/18 5:17 PM | Comment Link

    • chucknobomb said...

      10

      Never tweeted. Is this handle or whatever it’s called available? @FUSA

      08/7/18 5:20 PM | Comment Link

    • js290 said...

      11

      May be time to move on to a distributed social networking platform: https://gnu.io/social/

      08/7/18 7:23 PM | Comment Link

    • Nathan T said...

      12

      I wonder if they’re going to suspend me for sharing this on Twitter? They already made me confirm that I wasn’t a bot after tweeting with you and Scott Horton right before you got banned.

      08/7/18 11:00 PM | Comment Link

    • Michelle said...

      13

      Damn, Peter! This sucks. I mean, you could be a bit harsh (deservedly so!), but I’ve seen WAY worse on Twitter. Keith Olbermann, anybody? I guess some people are more equal than others, eh? I will miss your voice on twitter.

      08/8/18 12:03 AM | Comment Link

    • Karl Kolchak said...

      14

      Just the fact that these “journalists” are Twitting shows that they are not real journalists. Once few the remaining old school news hounds like Seymour Hersh and Robert Scheer pass from the scene that profession will be officially dead and buried. The handful of younger journalists with integrity such as Matt Taibbi (who has already been #MeTooed once) and Nick Turse are not sufficient in number nor widely enough read to have any effect.

      08/8/18 12:49 AM | Comment Link

    • G said...

      15

      If you get the urge, just make a new account. And behave exactly as before. >:)

      Your twitter feed was one of my favorites. I was lucky enough to read most of your excellent commentary on Sunday and I wish it had been preserved!

      08/8/18 1:23 AM | Comment Link

    • kirchin said...

      16

      Here are the final tweets on your page. A lot of the good stuff was in the replies too, but sadly I don’t have any of that.

      https://imgur.com/a/tJyEEye

      Your feed was always enjoyable to me. On Sunday you were absolutely on fire. Such a shame that it ended abruptly.

      Have you considered creating another account? It may be against their rules but who cares. I don’t think they police it very closely. Give it a thought, unless you’ve given up on twitter.

      08/8/18 2:41 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      17

      Dear Peter,

      Apparently, Ron Paul knows why you got banned from the Twit. And he told RT, which has published a brief article about it this morning. So I guess that makes two more strikes against your continued existence on social media – Ron Paul AND RT???!!!! You MUST be a real subversive to have defenders like these, dude!

      Turns out that the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute was himself banned for retweeting a comment from someone else, and it all circles back to you.

      Went like this: You tweeted some comments on a Greenwald thread (that’s per your information; the article doesn’t mention this).

      A journalist named Jonathan M. Katz complained to Twit about you and single-handedly got you banned. I do not know who Katz is, and the article merely says he is a “journalist”, but not which outfit he works for.

      Then a radio show host named Scott Horton (he is also editorial director of Antiwar.com) criticized Katz for complaining about you, so Horton was suspended from Twit.

      The executive director of the Ron Paul Institute, Daniel McAdams, then retweeted Horton’s comment, so McAdams was then suspended from Twit.

      So now there are two other people, Horton and McAdams, who are suspended from Twit just for the perfidious sin of defending your right to free speech.

      The rest of this is from the RT article linked to at the bottom:

      After the executive director of the Ron Paul Institute got suspended on Twitter, the former congressman from Texas told RT that social media crackdowns are part of a broader effort to silence dissent in the US.

      While social media could be a “real delight” and very informative, the biggest role social networks are playing is “working with the government,” Ron Paul told RT on Tuesday. The government is indirectly regulating speech through companies like Twitter and Facebook, he added.

      “You get accused of treasonous activity and treasonous speech because in an empire of lies the truth is treason,” Paul said. “Challenging the status quo is what they can’t stand and it unnerves them, so they have to silence people.”

      […] “I’m just hoping that technology can stay ahead of it all and that we can have real alternatives to the dependency on Twitter and other companies that have been working hand in glove with the government,” Paul told RT.

      “And if we, some of us, tell the truth about our government, they call us treasonous and say we’re speaking out of line and they’d like to punish us, and I think that’s part of what’s happening with social media,” he added.

      https://www.rt.com/usa/435372-ron-paul-twitter-censorship/

      08/8/18 5:22 AM | Comment Link

    • BJ dubbS said...

      18

      Sorry to hear about your Twitter banning, but hang in their. I got your book for my father and he loved it. He served in the FS for 25 years and he thought it was hilarious.

      08/8/18 5:25 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...

      19

      Oh, PS:

      I should have known the name Katz. The guy really is a journalist and has done some good work (proved the cholera epidemic in Haiti was caused by the Blue Helmets, stuff like that, so he is very aware of governmental lies and government/media cover-ups). I am quite stunned to see that he is the one who wanted someone banned for having a difference of opinion on the [dumb-ass] Twitter. I guess he felt he was defending his tribe, which in this case he defined as “The Journalists”.

      And you know what? Trump is making it worse than it needs to be. He didn’t start it, but he sure is exploiting and exacerbating it, like he does everything he touches. So fuck him and the fucking horse he fucking rode in on, too.

      08/8/18 5:42 AM | Comment Link

    • Colin Brace said...

      20

      I followed you for more than a year on Twitter, and you produced a constant flow of excellent, sometimes acerbic commentary. I really hope those idiots at Twitter rescind the suspension.

      Over and over the topic arises in discussion that we need to find alternatives to sites like Facebook and Twitter that are owned by US corporations, but nothing quite compares. I’m giving VK a try, but it still hasn’t really taken off yet, IMO.

      08/8/18 3:02 PM | Comment Link

    • Nancy Jones said...

      21

      I decided when I saw you were permanently banned from Twitter that I needed to find your blog and follow you. Done.

      08/8/18 3:21 PM | Comment Link

    • liz said...

      22

      What a worm that Katz is. I’m gonna write him a letter, the coward.

      08/8/18 5:24 PM | Comment Link

    • Thomas Cleaver said...

      23

      Amazing. I keep getting put on 30-day suspensions at FB for doing far less than you have done (I think a right wing stalker I have dealt with since 2004 is responsible – when I get back on FB I will “clean house” so he has no back door into me).

      Anyway, Josh Marshall at TPM has a major “thought piece” on this, the cession of the “public space” to private owners and the loss of 1st Amendment Rights. You ought to contact him about your situation. Getting the word out is the only defense here.

      Anyway, here’s the article:

      https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/a-few-thoughts-about-facebook-bans-and-free-speech

      08/9/18 12:28 AM | Comment Link

    • After shutting down his blog to be more active in #twitter this fam… | Dr. Roy Schestowitz (罗伊) said...

      24

      […] After shutting down his blog to be more active in #twitter this famous whistleblower realised that #socialcontrolmedia controls him, bans him. So he's back to his blog (which I used to follow before shutdown). https://wemeantwell.com/blog/2018/08/07/twitter-suspends-me-forever/ […]

      08/9/18 12:10 PM | Comment Link

    • Rational Actor said...

      25

      Peter Van Buren said, “I wish instead you could read what I wrote and decide for yourself. But Twitter won’t allow that.”

      Peter, you have a copyright in what you publish, even when it is published on Twitter. Twitter’s TOS only acquires a non-exlusive right to your words, you still have a right to publish your writing elsewhere (including here on your website).

      If you would reproduce your recent tweets here, then we could evaluate whether or not you actually violated Twitter’s TOS with writing that “harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence someone else’s voice.”

      Absent that evidence, you have no grounds to indict Twitter for kicking you off their platform. (Although you could criticize the guidelines themselves.)

      08/15/18 4:24 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      26

      Dear Anonymous Person:
      I have no access to my seven years of tweets. They have been locked/blocked/deleted by Twitter. The few displayed on my site were sent to me by others who for some reason screen shot them. Please don’t quit law school yet, there is much left for you to learn.

      08/15/18 5:46 PM | Comment Link

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