In the past 4 years, social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook have become a dominant force for spreading messages and rallying causes. Through Facebook and Twitter, hundreds of millions of people are connected in a way that Earth has never seen before.
Whole governments have toppled through the power that a group has that can harness its message through Twitter. The sheer ability to post a message and have it seen by millions of people is a powerful tool.
In the summer of 2009, hundreds of thousands of protestors took to the streets in Tehran, Iran to protest the phony election results that showed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winning re-election. The world was able to watch these protests unfold over Twitter and the protestors themselves were able to use Twitter as a tool for coordinating their activities.
People all over the world were given a front row seat to watch a protest through the eyes of the protestor. In early 2011, protestors took to the streets in Egypt and toppled their government. This happened in Libya as well. And Tunisia.
In all of these instances, Twitter has served as a powerful tool that allows people the ability to communicate with each over and spread a message far and wide. And Twitter has prided itself on being a key tool for enabling people to engage in their society and foster democracy. After all, Twitter bent over backwards to make sure that it had the capacity to carry the revolution over its servers with minimal interruption.
Yet, for some strange reason, Twitter silenced the official account for the new Americans for Limited Government project Free Market America. The account, @FreeMarket_US, went live a few days before Earth Day and was slowly picking up steam.
On Earth Day, the official website for Free Market America was launched and its Facebook and Twitter components started to come to life as well. The first video put out by Free Market America, “If I wanted America to fail”, got over 120,000 hits in less than 36 hours!
But you would never know that if you tried to follow the Twitter page — it was suspended by Twitter midway through the day on Earth Day!
After numerous attempts to contact Twitter and see what the story was behind the suspension, ALG launched a twitter campaign against twitter. Urging all of our followers to contact @twitter to ask why the Free Market America site has been suspended, thousands came to our defense.
Led by Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) who tweeted to her more than 270,000 followers multiple times, and wrote a story on the suspension, twitter exploded with demands for an answer from the company for suspending the account. Many other notables jumped into the fray including Fox News’ Eric Bolling (@ericbolling), talk radio host Neal Boortz (@talkmaster),and Glenn Beck’s The Blaze.
Finally, at 10:46 pm, the @freemarket_us twitter account was restored with an explanation that for some unknown reason the account had been caught up in Twitter’s automated spam filter.
The remarkable six hours of using a twitter campaign to engage what was, at best, a massive customer service breakdown at Twitter came to an end. The very system that has been touted as having taken down governments proved itself to be an invaluable resource in getting the Free Market America message out to hundreds of thousands of people.
Adam Bitely is the Editor-in-Chief of NetRightDaily.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @AdamBitely.
UPDATE 10:55 PM Eastern: Twitter has officially just “un-suspended” the @FreeMarket_US account. Still waiting to hear the reason for the suspension though.
NRD Editor’s Note: We would greatly appreciate if you could help our cause to figure out why Free Market America is being censored. Please Tweet the following message —> “Why has @Twitter suspended @FreeMarket_US? #Censorship”
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