I must come clean and admit that I am a closet enjoyer of Twitter. There are few other websites that blend together eccentric personalities, original takes on every conceivable question of the day, personal interests and good old flamewars.
Praise aside. The site has a whole host of problems and none as bad as this.
Over the past month especially I have been bombarded with mass tweets sent by crypto scammers. These lowlife loafers send out tweets with a link in their profile promising a quantity of bitcoin when any visitor opens a link in his bio - probably flooding your browser with heaven-knows-what.
So much for Mr. Musk clearing out the bots - the spam problem has been getting worse in my experience!
Now, I maintain more than one Twitter handle. Shock - horror - but it is true. As a longtime netizen, I value separation of concerns. And I do get my kicks from stirring the pot. Life is too serious, we need some lulz every now and then.
So after getting mentioned in crypto-spam for the millionth time in a week, in a moment of exasperation, I tweeted the following to a cryptoscammer:
Satisfied, I closed Twitter. When I revisited the following morning, I was prompted thusly:
In Defiant Defence
Firstly, what with my message is an incitement to violence? Arguably, I'm just doing my bit, promoting the "healthy" medical procedure known as circumcision. What have Twitter against this ancient practice? Becoming an eunuch and retreating to a monastic cult up a distant mountain would be a better life for these shady souls. Perhaps in time they could pray, meditate, and atone for their sins. Sins which include stealing money and wasting everyone's time even when they don't.
Secondly, this person tweeted me with the plainly evident purpose of stealing my money. I ask, does this person have the right to 'feel safe online'? It is a stretch, but even this kind of theft is an act of violence; depriving me of my property through false promises and deceit. So surely I am entitled to verbal self defence? The difference is that I am taking nothing from the spammer other than his dignity.
And yes, he absolutely deserves to feel terrible about what he has done. He deserves hundreds of messages every day, containing worse wishes and iller minded threats than any I could contrive.
I appealed to Twitter explaining my reasoning - I was joining their boss in his anti-spam crusade - but received no timely response. I clicked to 'delete tweet' in contrition and my access was reinstated. When I looked into my notifications, I saw this:
Shamefully, the original spam tweet was still present on Twitter. Still using the image and likeness of the Chief Twit himself, still begging the naive for their loose satoshis.