On Saturday evening, I was disturbed to discover that our OpenBenches Twitter Account had been suspended!
Well… this is sub-optimal! Twitter have suspended @openbenches. No idea why. No way I can see to appeal. Grrr! pic.twitter.com/rCkHnMTEOM
— ꧁Terence Eden꧂ ⏻ (@edent) May 5, 2018
To be clear, OpenBenches posts photos of benches. That’s it. No porn, no spam, no encouraging malicious behaviour. It’s just pictures like this.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
TO WHOM THE GARDEN MEANT SO MUCHhttps://t.co/uIr63hLiQ9
CC BY-SA 4.0 pic.twitter.com/Gzlit7T4jZ
— OpenBenches.org (@openbenches) May 4, 2018
I went to appeal the suspension, I quickly got back an automated reply denying the appeal.
This was baffling! The account is connected to a valid email address and working mobile phone number. There were no added apps which could have been used for spamming. Nothing that broke the rules.
I kicked up a bit of a stink on Twitter – and I’m grateful that so many people Tweeted their support. I dropped an email to a few people I know at Twitter, but it is a Bank Holiday weekend, so I didn’t expect any of them to answer.
I filed another appeal the next day, which was also swiftly denied. But, hey, it’s still a long weekend.
And then, without warning, I got this:
I’ve no idea whether a human reviewed it. We were now free from Twitter jail! But it came with a cost. Despite the promises, the followers never returned.
We only had a few hundred, not bad for a parochial project on the psychogeography of memorials, but now we had zero.
So, if you were following us – please follow us again! If you weren’t, now’s a good time to follow us on Twitter! Or, submit a photo of a bench using your mobile phone at https://OpenBenches.org.
Yes, I know. We should redecentralize and put our content on Mastodon, or the BlockChain, or some other convoluted platform which has no users. But that’s just not practical for a small project. We have limited technical resources and have to go to where the people are.
We have a website, and lots of Open Data – if you want to help syndicate us to multiple platforms, please file a pull request!
“We have limited technical resources and have to go to where the people are.” That’s the right answer; the sooner we have consultancies pop up, just as there were for WordPress and other open source platforms, the sooner small business and non-profits will be able to move to decentralized platforms like Mastodon.
Pingback: Twitter suspended our Open Data project’s account and wiped all our followers – posted at May 07, 2018 at 07:34PM by edent – Startup News 2018
User adoption on Mastodon can be pretty big depending on the project. Look at the number of followers F-Droid has on Mastodon compared to Twitter.
“Yes, I know. We should redecentralize and put our content on Mastodon, or the BlockChain, or some other convoluted platform which has no users. But that’s just not practical for a small project.”
I’m not sure this is a good argument to continue to sharecrop in a walled garden that kicked you off their platform for no discernible reason and won’t even properly explain why. In your own words you had hundreds of followers. The Fediverse has about 1.2 million users at the moment, which may be small fry but it’s growing rapidly, and people on there are always looking for accounts to follow. If you’re willing to put a little effort in you may find a larger following there than on twitter, and the two aren’t even mutually exclusive.
Thanks. Can you point to any easy to follow resources for setting up a bot account?
botsin.space is a Mastodon instance that welcomes bots.
Create an account on it, go to preferences, “developer” on the left, create a new application. Get your token auth. Now just post using POST, e.g.
curl –header “Authorization: Bearer $TOKEN” -sS https://botsin.space/api/v1/statuses –data “status=Hello world!”
Consider posting on http://Steemit.com. Enjoy!
Do you have an easy to follow API guide?