Last night I heard a news report about Twitter blocking posts that referenced a Pro-Phil Robertson site or included the hashtag #IstandwithPhil. So, I did what any blogger would do and got out my phone and tried tweeting a link to one of the stories. I wasn't tweeting a link to the site, but did include the hashtag.
Just as it has been reported by many news outlets, my post was blocked and I received the message that it was potentially spam. (How could a Vanity article be spam?) This morning I tried tweeting the same article and this time it worked.
As I sit down to write the post, I now see Twitter has apologized for blocking the site and hashtag saying it was marked as spam by mistake. Hummm! Not sure I believe this.
Whether you stand with Phil or not, I think Twitter's actions deserve some attention. Twitter and other social media were expected to level the playing field - allowing all viewpoints to be heard. Traditional media has a way of ignoring or spinning some of their reporting, but social media brings it all out in the open -- the good, the bad and the ugly. Blocking content relating to a specific perspective is a dangerous slope and I believe is a business ethics issue and I'm happy to see it receiving so much attention.
In the end, Twitters action may have actually backfired on them. They probably should have recognized that they only have control over one channel and learned from others in the blogosphere that word can still travel quickly in social media. My guess is that the creators of the site and hashtag are thrilled with all of the attention Twitter has drawn to their cause.
If you are wondering what I think about Phil and his comment, I'll just remind my readers that I'm a Louisiana girl and know and understand the culture of his community. I've never always agreed with some things in the northern part of the state, but I do respect their opinions and beliefs -- just as I respect the opinions and beliefs of the many people and cultures I come across in my travels.