Twitter Deletes SCOTUSblog Twitter Account Briefly Thinking Its Running Of The Trolls Meant It Was Hacked

from the sarcasm-kills-twitter-accounts dept

We've mentioned and linked to the wonderful SCOTUSblog many times in the past, and have even mentioned its annual running of the trolls, in which the site's Twitter account responds sarcastically to people who think that it is the Supreme Court's twitter account, rather than a blog of some journalists and lawyers covering the court. Part of the confusion comes from the fact that the Supreme Court doesn't have its own Twitter feed, combined with Twitter's eagerness to suggest alternate accounts when people are assuming SCOTUS must have a Twitter feed. But, really, a big part of the problem is people tweeting inane things at SCOTUSblog without realizing it's not SCOTUS.

This year, however, the running of the trolls event went weird... because Twitter briefly deleted the entire SCOTUSblog Twitter account, perhaps thinking that the snarky responses showed the account had been hacked. Yes, it appears that even Twitter the company may have believed that the SCOTUSblog Twitter account was actually supposed to be SCOTUS itself.
Today we had our annual running of the trolls — wherein we respond to people who direct mostly hateful and sometimes cute things to our @SCOTUSblog account, thinking it is the official Twitter account of the Supreme Court. We’ve done this for several Terms without incident. But this Term, Twitter — probably through some automated system — decided that our account had been hacked. So it kicked us out of our account — thinking we were the hackers — and then blocked all the tweets, so they have disappeared.
Eventually Twitter realized its mistake and reinstated the account -- but once again we see the problems when social media sites try to "police" the content on those sites. They are often not in a position to know what is and what is not an appropriate tweet, or if an account has been hacked. And yet, so many people still seem to think that the platforms themselves have some sort of god-like knowledge powers that allow them to magically kill "bad" accounts while leaving good accounts untouched.

Either way, with the account back in good standing, for now, here's just a taste of its trolling. Go to @SCOTUSblog for more. It's too bad the trolling got interrupted though:

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  • icon
    morganwick (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 2:23pm

    So many people want Twitter to crack down harder on trolls, bigots, death-threat-senders, and other undesirables, but what can they do that wouldn't create collateral damage or end up being abused by the very people it's supposed to work against?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 3:31pm


      What can they do?


      Humanity is a shit stained species of bigots and hypocrites. The people oppressed yesterday break free of their oppression and become the oppressors of tomorrow. Just like a pendulum on a loose rope, it swings all sorts of ways. History has proven that every attempt to shut someone up becomes nothing other than state or socially sponsored oppression if effective.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      art guerrilla (profile), 28 Jun 2016 @ 3:46pm

      Re: @ morganwick

      surely you know the answer: The They (tm) simply don't care...
      besides, it makes a mutable law/regulation/guideline/ TOS/ which can be turned on anyone at anytime, so much the better...
      um, are you still expecting fairness and rationality from Empire ? ? ?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 11:37pm


      Collateral damage doesn't matter. as long as I get what I want, as long as those I dislike are silenced, as long as I'm not silenced.
      Who cares about others.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Jun 2016 @ 2:34pm

    Headline madness!

    I think the article headline may be nigh unparseable. I may have had a small seizure reading it.

    Still love you, Techdirt!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 29 Jun 2016 @ 8:13am

      Re: Headline madness!

      Agreed. Needs comma after "Account" and "Running Of The Trolls" should be in quotes. Punctuation marks were invented for a reason.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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