As the systemic abuse of Twitter’s spam block feature to silence conservatives on social media continues to be exposed, a number of dedicated users continue to share the knowledge and evidence they’ve collected regarding this tactic. Recently, user @SemperBanU (SBU), shared his theories on what he referred to as a “reply” trap, in which two or more users engage a single user and then report for spam.
SBU laid out this theory in a series of tweets that can be seen below. To avoid confusion, each bit of description is describing the tweet below the description.:
So we start out with some typical trash talk. Anyone who follows SBU knows he’s acerbic to the nth degree. His war of words continues in this next tweet:
...here SB & BFC continue. I keep hitting the REPLY button & "view conversation" shows even on items w ". @" twitter.com/SemperBanU/sta…— Charlie Johnson (@SemperBanU) June 5, 2012
Now, in this tweet, SBU mentions user @GottaLaff in something of a random fashion. Laff doesn’t reply, but another user is drawn into the conversation.
SBU has continued his back and forth with the other user at a fast rate, meaning his @ reply rate is shooting up. The trick comes when the third user gets him to @ her. So what’s happened is he’s been operating at a furious pace with @ replies to the first user, and then @’s the second user. This is likely what makes him vulnerable to the spam block.
In this next tweet, the third user announces her intentions.
...here is where trigger is pulled. 3 tweets in reply chain have each member mentioning others as LG does Blk & rpt twitter.com/SemperBanU/sta…— Charlie Johnson (@SemperBanU) June 5, 2012
This tweet shows the two users congratulating themselves on a successful operation. As SBU notes, the pink banner across the top of the screen is notifying him his account has now been suspended.
Those shots were taken right after so u can c the pink banner on each which says u r suspended. Here LG and SB high 5 twitter.com/SemperBanU/sta…— Charlie Johnson (@SemperBanU) June 5, 2012
This shows Twitter’s response to his suspension, mentioning a large number of unsolicited @ replies to other users as the cause for the suspension. Remember, it started with verbal sparring between him and another user, a third user was drawn in, and then once they received the @ from SBU, they hit the block and report button.
In 2008, Brooks Bayne covered this trick being used in attempts to silence conservative speech. In 2010, it was used against conservative Twitter personality Greg W. Howard in an attempt to silence him, as well. And now, in 2012, it spread to rabid LGFers. In fact, according to those who have been watching this situation since it spread to LGF, those rabid band of blockers have attacked approximately 15,000 accounts in total. Also, not to be left out, everyone’s favorite angry kitty, Shoq has been in on the action too. (Very bottom of the linked post.)
But hey, random Lefty’s out there who say we’re just a bunch of delusional right wingers… Go ahead, keep telling us. We know. But it sure is strange there’s all this damn evidence laying around telling us otherwise. Funny, that.