Conservative organization Empower Texans found their Twitter account suspended along with those of their staff yesterday. There was no warning or explanation given.
Sounds like Twitter has something else in common with Facebook, in terms of taking action without warning.
Here's a snippet of EmpowerTexans' explanation:
While the Empower Texans team members engage in political conversations and advocacy using the Twitter medium, they certainly do not use the medium to sell particular products or to generate spam. Empower Texans uses the Twitter medium in good faith to engage and actively contribute to the social media/networking experience. We talk about political ideas, Texas issues, as well as topics of personal interests from Aggie football to UT baseball, families and vacations to history and pop-culture.
Individual Twitter accounts are suspended everyday for a litany of reasons only to be reinstated after a quick review. The fact that an organizational feed, along with the personal accounts of all those associated with the organization, were suspended at the same time is odd and raises concern. Even more so that they were suspended with no notice or warning.
What is certainly more unsettling is the effect this action could have on the greater "social media" experience in regard to political discourse.
If this series of unfounded suspensions prove to be the result of a political prank, Twitter's automated system -- confounded by the byzantine nature of its appeals process -- has proven highly susceptible to those wishing to manipulate it.
According to Austin Post, AgendaWise - described as "another right-leaning Texas organization" had similar issues.
The Twitter accounts have now been restored, however. Empower Texans posted the following to their Facebook Page:
The @EmpowerTexans Twitter account has been reinstated! They sent nice notes apologizing for the inconvenience. Now that we're back up, be sure to click below and follow us!
They seem pleased with the apology, but offer no clues as to what the issue was. Given the organization's apparent acceptance of Twitter's apologies, it doesn't seem like they're too upset with Twitter itself over the ordeal anymore.
There haven't been any new tweets from either the Empower Texans or the AgendaWise accounts since though.