So, this is an article I was going to write about maybe 2-3 months ago, but never got around to it for some reason. But, for those of you whom might not have been aware, over the course of the last 9 months or so Twitter has been active in an international crack down against Anonymous, Anarchists and Antifa members alike. In fact, in October 2018 I wrote an article about Twitters mini-purge of Anonymous accounts after the fall of several high profile accounts – going as far as to personally ask Twitter if they had longer term plans to crackdown on all hacktivists on their service in the future?
Learn More – Twitters Mini-Purge of Anonymous: https://roguemedialabs.wpcomstaging.com/2018/10/27/twitter-begins-purge-of-anonymous-accounts/
With that established, this article is not about Anonymous, necessarily, but rather about some of my fellow “comrades” working over at CyberGuerrilla Anonymous Nexus (CgAn). For those of you whom might not be aware, CyberGuerrilla has been home to the undergrounds best hackers and cyber security practitioners for quite some time, and I have ties to them going back to “Operations Africa” (#OpAfrica) in 2015.
Anonymous – Operation Africa AnonHQ https://t.co/5wCoRqdgFZ
— rickyyangang (@RickyYangang) February 20, 2016
With that out of the way, earlier this year one of the CyberGuerrilla‘s biggest accounts “International CyberGuerrilla Column A” was shut down by Twitter – once active with I believe over 61,000 followers at the time of their closing if I remember right. It also wasn’t an isolated incident either, and Twitter has made it a point to specifically take on CyberGuerrilla online. In fact, at one point just a few months ago, Twitter began censoring and deleting all hashtags with “CgAn” in it, making it harder for anyone online to see or follow them, or read any of the material they post online. This is why researchers/activists such as myself have been going our of my way to make as many #CgAn‘s as possible – just to keep them indexed.
Even more recently than that, Twitter has also begun cracking down on several other large and prominent accounts within the CgAn community – as you can see via the Tweets provided below.
— Debian Shadow 🍀 – ☭ (@shadow_xor) April 21, 2019
We are disgusted that our beloved friends | #CgAn are treated this way, but are we surprised? NO!
🏴 They CANNOT silence ALL 🏴 https://t.co/HnB0U1TVap
— FemAnonFatal (@FEMANON_) July 7, 2019
Getting back to the story at hand, CyberGuerrilla has been attempting to fight back against Twitter for closing their accounts – all legally too. For example, despite Twitter claiming that their account was closed for breaking the terms of Twitters rules and conditions, Doemela is fighting back against Twitters decision. Below you can find a transcript of their appeal to Twitter, learn more about the case, find a link to their information/blog posting about it, as well as the location to their new Twitter account – should you feel compelled to follow them again. 😉
Doemela’s Appeal To Twitter:
I noticed that my account is suspended. I have read all terms and
conditions on your support page but cannot see any reason why I may have
been suspended. I’ve certainly taken every step to ensure that my
account is not breaking any rules.
I’ve been suspended several times, and the reason supplied to me is
always ‘it was done in error’. I kindly explain I don’t feel I am
violating any of Twitters’ rules, and politely request examples of me
doing this. There is also no one I know of that reported this account
for violation of Twitter’s Rules. I’m a keen user of Twitter, and if you
could please let me know why I was suspended then I will ensure I will
take whatever steps necessary so that it does not happen again.
This at the very least would be helpful, so I may learn what is
acceptable and adjust my behaviour accordingly. I think the bigger issue
is however; I’m not in violation of your terms. It seems to me your
‘report abuse’ function is being abused in order to silence dissenting
voices or genuine civil criticism. Abuse and harassment are both awful
and incredibly serious things. I applaud and support Twitters’
commitment to penalizing those who feel it’s acceptable to engage in
such a deplorable way.
However, your system is flawed. I appreciate you have far too many users
for it to be anything but automated, but it is currently punishing users
that are using your services legitimately, for discussion, challenging
ideas, and promoting worthy causes and dialogue.
All I ask is that you please review my case by putting actual human eyes
on the tweet examples provided to you, as I believe examples are
mandatory when making these reports. When doing so, please ask yourself
whether these constitute ‘abuse’ in any meaningful sense and whether
it’s more likely your reporting function is being exploited to silence
genuine, but undesired criticism by the same individual, or individuals.
In your worthy commitment to providing a report function for genuine
abuse, it appears you have overlooked the possibility of that function
actually becoming abused as a tool to constantly silence legitimate
voices. What measures can you suggest preventing this function from
becoming an actual tool of harassment? It appears I am a casualty.
Thank you! Look forward to really hearing back from you.