Twitter has become the battleground for the 2012 elections and the fight to push the country further left or closer to the right. It is the vehicle that not only informs and influences the opinions of others, but often it is Twitter that actually drives the news cycle. Protest movements like Occupy and Anonymous are using Twitter and other online media as a key mechanism in fighting the battle for ideas and opinions. However, for months now, there has been a coordinated campaign on the part of some leftists to silence conservatives on Twitter in an effort to reduce the impact of the right’s voice on public opinion and the news.It’s a campaign that has been obvious to many of those who’ve been experiencing this first-hand. And Sunday night, more sunlight was shone on the issue as thousands witnessed an attack on a higher profile target when Chris Loesch, the husband of Big Journalism editor and CNN contributor, Dana Loesch, had his Twitter account suspended suddenly and unexpectedly--for “sending multiple unsolicited mentions to other users.”
The action sparked an outpouring of support, sending the hashtag #FreeChrisLoesch to the top of the trending tags, and once more with #FreeChrisLoeschAGAIN when his account was suspended yet again (and again) after less than a minute or so of having been restored. In reviewing the tweets that lead up to the incident, there is no evidence whatsoever that Chris abused Twitter’s terms of service. His “infraction” was the mere act of defending his wife by responding to those targeting her with vile, disgraceful tweets, all of which Dana has aptly reported here on Big Journalism.
It was later discovered that the cause of Chris’s suspension stemmed from a coordinated effort to abuse Twitter’s “block and report” features to trigger Twitter’s algorithm that flags an account as spam, thereby automatically suspending the account temporarily until human eyes could review the situation. Many outlets have since covered Sunday night’s incident, including, but not limited to, Human Events, Newsbusters, Twitchy and The Washington Times. The truth is, this isn’t the first time that this has happened to a conservative on Twitter, either. In fact, many have experienced this and other attacks in recent months. Sunday night was simply the first time that conservatives fought back--en masse.
We’ve all seen tactics like this in action online in one form or another. Over time, countless numbers of activists on the right have sent me examples of similar attacks, and I’ve even spoken directly with many of them.