On Monday, Twitter did something that sent Duck Dynasty and Phil Robertson supporters into an outrage. The social media site blocked users from linking to the "I Stand With Phil" petition, created by the Christian based group Faith Driven Consumer. The petition is requesting that A&E reinstate the patriarch of the popular television show immediately.
When users tried to link to the URL they received a message that read: “Oops! A URL in your Tweet appears to link to a page that has spammy or unsafe content." This message led to users accusing Twitter of censorship, and has made national news.
Read the full petition below:
Dear A&E Network,
I am writing to you regarding your network's intolerant, discriminatory, and punitive treatment of Mr. Phil Robertson, star of A&E's #1 hit show, Duck Dynasty.
Mr. Robertson’s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family – a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and today’s world as a whole.
Many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view, but the notion that a free-thinking American should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and civility. A&E's position, which in your own words is “championing” the gay and lesbian community — which I believe you have the freedom to do — excludes the views of Faith Driven Consumers and effectively censors a legitimate viewpoint held by the majority of Americans.
As a Faith Driven Consumer, I am signing this petition to demand that my views be treated with equality and respect in America’s rich rainbow of diversity.
I am asking your network to immediately reinstate Mr. Robertson to Duck Dynasty, and to formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview. While the LGBT community may be offended by his opposing viewpoint, your rash, discriminatory, and unfair treatment toward Mr. Robertson — a recognized symbol of the faith community — is a slap in the face to Faith Driven Consumers and everyday Americans alike.
There are 46 million Faith Driven Consumers in America today who spend 1.75 trillion dollars annually. Should you refuse to equally respect and welcome our legitimately held views, we will gladly stop watching this and all other A&E programming and turn to any reformulation of Duck Dynasty on another network – while simultaneously supporting brands that stand with the show and the Robertson family.
John Q. Public
The goal of the petition was originally to receive 200,000 signatures. However, the petition has already exceeded their goal, despite the setbacks, and has received a total of 239,454 signatures, to date. Faith Driven Consumer and other supports believe that Twitter intentionally blocked users from linking to the petition, however Twitter claimed it was a mistake, issued an apology, and immediately removed the block. “The URL IStandWithPhil.com was mistakenly flagged as spam tonight, by an outside organization that tracks spam sources. We have restored access and apologize for the error,” Twitter said in a statement.
What do you think? Was Twitter trying to censor their users, or was it an accident? Leave your comments below.
Image via Istandwithphil.com