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twitter erased most of my online presence

2023-01-05 @ 18:19 UTC
filed under: personal

i've been a twitter user since february 2009. next month would mark my 14th year on the platform.

since i joined it, we have gone through pretty significant personal changes, the account i was holding could be argued to have begun with a completely different person (or, if you don't believe that, at least another facet of ourselves)

to close 2022 off, twitter decided to permanently suspend my account, erasing it in the process. i've been temporarily suspended before, and at first this seemed like another case of that, i was temp suspended for a period of 7 days. right as i was watching the counter go down to the last minutes of that, the notice instead turned to one that my account was permanently suspended and the public view of my profile is now gone. i've appealed it but predictably it reached deaf ears.

i'm not going to argue against twitter's flawed reasoning to ban me, all i had publicly posted was what has already been wished on me by hundreds of transphobes on the platform who go unscathed every single day. twitter is simply choosing to be a transphobic platform.


the issue i take now is how almost 14 years of my work and whatever mental droppings i decided to post on someone else's content silo are now completely gone. articles mentioning me and my work are completely link rotten now. things that were linking to my twitter account as the central hub for all content mavica point to nowhere now and i'm powerless to fix that. i wonder how long it'll take to happen to foone turing, but then again of course they have more of a following than i do to go yell at elon musk and maybe they're too big to fail now.

this serves more of a fucking wake up call to me than anything else. i've been banging on the self hosting drum for a couple of years now yet i never took enough care to mirror what i used as my public diary anywhere else that i had more control over. i have a semi-recent backup of my tweets as of a couple of weeks before my suspension, but i never downloaded the full-resolution images to populate that backup. those are all gone now save for whatever originals i might still have. i'm not going to have access to that backup until mid february due to geographical logistic reasons, and i'm not sure what i'll want to piece together from it, but at least not all of the text is lost. what's left of me is now not to rebuild but to build anew somewhere else. i'm going to work on using this blog more often than a content silo to put my thoughts and work into.

some interesting technical things to note: around when my account was suspended, twitter introduced view counts on tweets. the mere action of loading a tweet now counts as an interaction. as a suspended account, i cannot perform any interaction. logging into my account generates a wave of toast notifications telling me so, now, because of "views" as interactions. additionally, i can't even delete the tweets they deem actionable. the text content of my tweets are still there for me to see while i'm logged in, as if my account was still visible publicly (it isn't), but all the media is gone, and i can't do anything even with my own tweets. i also can no longer even request a backup of my tweets.

in closing?

i'm still a bit shellshocked. other members of our system are still on twitter, and i've taken to posting on mastodon again instead. i think i still need some time to heal from this, but i'm not going anywhere. watch this space.

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