More Twitter Censorship Drama & Why It Might Mean the End of My Writing “Career”

To put things bluntly; I am frustrated to the point of tears and beyond tired of writing this same post over and over again. I woke up today to discovered that my Twitter account @ninadontplaymtg has been suspended, possibly for good as of roughly 8 AM this morning. Although I’ve recently had a few choice words with the hundreds of followers Ian Miles Cheong and Adam Parkhomenko sent into my mentions to harass me (before blocking them) I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the actual problem; based on when the suspension happened I think it was for the same old damn thing – posting links to my newest article on Twitter.

Below is a copy of the email I sent to Twitter through a variety of communication channels that explains why I believe my account has been suspended unfairly when in reality, I’m not doing anything that a whole bunch of “famous” people aren’t:

 

 

In addition to this email, I have filed something to the effect of fifteen separate appeals; so far I haven’t heard back and as it currently stands I’m starting to think I’m not going to. At this point I could spend a bunch of time explaining why it’s ridiculous that an independent journalist would repeatedly get her account locked and now completely suspended for posting links to free journalism that literally only her 4,000 followers can see, while still allowing actual neo-nazi provocateurs to use their website freely – but frankly, I’m tried of repeating the same obvious bullshit.

At this point the only reason I’m writing this story is to explain to my roughly 400 regular readers why this is probably a death sentence for this website. As I explained the last couple of times this happened, ninaillingworth.com is for all intents and purposes utterly dependent on Twitter to share links to my posts. Have I tried to diversify? You betcha; I set up a Facebook page for this website, I post links on Google Plus, I established a backup Twitter account which I begged my 4,000 followers to also follow, you can still find my writing through my Patreon account and I even messed around with Mastodon for a while. I also literally pleaded with people to subscribe to this website using the bar at the right, I begged as hard as I could for readers to share the stories posted on here someplace outside of Twitter as well – on their forums, on their Facebook walls, on Reddit.

The end result of these efforts has been: 129 subscribers, 40 Patreons and a backup Twitter account with literally 210 followers – so I think it’s safe to say “diversifying my social media presence to make sure I can share my links even if Twitter censors me” has been a big fat bust.

Now, let’s talk about traffic numbers and precisely why I’ve spent all this time begging my readers to help me survive the blatant censorship that’s trying to kill my livelihood (and as such, to some degree my reason for existing.) My first ever big story “The War Between Us: How the Clinton Media Machine Just Lost the Democratic Primary” pretty much had 30,000 views in it’s first three days of existence and the next week or so crept towards roughly 50,000 views. That’s probably half a day’s worth of business for a mainstream news organization but it’s pretty damn good for my crappy little blog and although I can’t prove it, I’ve always felt someone else thought that too because almost immediately my traffic dropped to a trickle. Over the next six to eight months most of my articles attracted less than a thousand views and even my most popular three only managed 10K, 8K and 5K respectively. Please remember this was before anyone knew that Google, Facebook and Twitter were all suppressing post reach for political statements they didn’t like so I legitimately thought I might be going crazy.

Since roughly February of 2017 however, things have actually been much, much worse as even more sophisticated measures to suppress political speech rich tech libertarians don’t agree with have come into effect; I just literally wrote the most important and effective essay of my life on August 30th and right now it’s hovering around 2100 total views despite me openly begging thousands of people to share it. Despite having over 4,000 followers on Twitter and posting links to each new article every hour all day whenever one comes out; most of my articles these days average about 400 views and if you can’t tell there’s something fucking wrong with that ratio then I’ll gladly trade you $400 for $50,000 if you’d like to see the concept in action.

The fact is, I’m being censored into oblivion by multiple billion dollar corporations and despite the literally thousands of people who’ve told me they love my writing I *know* you guys have done virtually nothing to help other people find it. I dunno if you’re too scared, too cool or just pretending you like my writing and too ashamed to share the shoddy work; the fact is tho, I cold search my own links on Twitter & Google and I get a report every day from the websites internal stats engine telling me where every single person who visits the site came from. Maybe my readers just don’t have any friends? No clue, but the time to puzzle this out has pretty much passed.

I see no point in continuing to write if only 400 people are going to read my work. I see no appetite for readers to help me beat a multi-billion dollar censorship machine that has no problem making literal nazis famous but definitely doesn’t want me sharing links to pinko political articles about fighting fascism, ending corruption and obtaining free healthcare for Americans. I mean guys; I begged for help and honestly readers just did not come through on that front – what else am I really supposed to do here?

I’m tired, I’m frustrated and frankly at this point if my Twitter account doesn’t get unlocked the “decision” to quit writing won’t even be mine. I’m going to take a few days to think about it I guess but right now I have a strong feeling this post is “so long and thanks for all the fish, but I wish you’d shared my work more because I’m fighting billion dollar censorship basically alone.” Anyone who wants to cancel their Patron donation is obviously free to do so and whatever decision I do make, I will make in time to sort out next month’s donations if necessary; maybe I’ll just freeze the Patreon account – I’m not sure yet; I’ll get back to you.

 

  • Nina Illingworth

 

Edit: I realize that this is the bitchiest sounding post in human existence and for that I’m genuinely sorry; as you can imagine I’m somewhat despondent about the thought of having to give up writing because Twitter seems to think I’m a terrorist, a spambot or both. I also realize that some of my readers have tried very hard to share my work and perhaps this post doesn’t make that clear; it’s really not any one person’s fault. Companies like Twitter and Facebook are suppressing the range of links to socialist websites like mine, so it really doesn’t matter if it’s you or me posting the link to this site on either service; the algorithm kicks in and makes sure that post doesn’t reach all of your followers either and as such it takes a tremendous number of people sharing links to actually beat the blanket effect these algorithms have. All I can really do is beg people to share the posts outside of Twitter/Facebook and for whatever reason that just hasn’t been going so well; please don’t mistake the fact that I’m extremely disappointed in this situation with being extremely disappointed with my friends. – N.I.
 

7 thoughts on “More Twitter Censorship Drama & Why It Might Mean the End of My Writing “Career”

  • September 8, 2017 at 10:00 am
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    In an effort to foster a sense of community and provide someplace to reach out to me if Twitter continues to suspend my various accounts, I have done something I swore I would never do – opened up the comments on ninaillingworth.com

    Have at it folks, please don’t be a total prick – the less moderating I have to do, the better but I’ll do my best to join in any conversations that develop (if any do.)

    – Nina

  • September 8, 2017 at 4:40 pm
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    I dunno what to say. I feel the same way you do. The internet is ultimately owned by the capitalists, so people like us are are always going to be restricted to the margins on purpose. It is like Noam Chompsky, this guy exists, and has been correctly criticizing US imperialism & media control for decades, but his reach is limited to places like Democracy Now!, books, and other low-impact venues because Capital doesn’t want him being taken seriously.

    I would continue to support you as a Comrade via Patreon regardless of your writing output level.

    • September 8, 2017 at 8:23 pm
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      Thanks for the kind words; I dunno – I guess it’s safe to say I’m not quitting yet or I wouldn’t have spent two hours last night manually opening up all of the comments. Unfortunately Twitter has denied my appeal so it’s starting to look like that’s the end of @NinaDontPlayMtG and I’m not sure how exactly I survive that – but for the time being, I’m trying.

  • September 9, 2017 at 2:08 am
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    I am flabbergasted that this is happening. Your analyses are always thorough, well sourced, and thought provoking. You truly DO speak truth to power. You’ve certainly opened my eyes on many subjects.

    This censorship is blatantly obvious. For many years, I’ve believed that the US has been nearing the final stages of collapse. Voices like yours have given me hope….hope that others will open their eyes and understand what is happening all around them….and take action to save this country.

    Voices of oppression are elevated while voices of truth are increasingly suppressed. The future of the US is looking bleak.

    I’m an academic. I study the rise and fall of communities/civilizations. We are repeating the same mistakes that humans have repeated for thousands of years….mistakes that led to immense devastation and suffering.

    You recognize the patterns….and you’ve done one helluva job, trying to warn others. I fear that the US has passed a point of no return. We can “stand on the mountain top,” screaming and waving our arms; trying to warn others. But we can’t force others to A.) realize the seriousness of the situation or B.) take action. We do the best we can with the tools we have.

    I will continue my contributions to you….and I’ll continue sharing/recommending your articles to others. I hope that you will be able to continue your very important work. You are a rare gem, sloshing about in a sea of madness.

    • September 9, 2017 at 5:48 am
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      First let me start by thanking you for your kind words and admitting that I’ve been a little taken aback by all the support people have shown me in this frustrating beyond words situation. Please let me also assure you that said outpouring has not been in vain; after all of the people who’ve reached out to contact me on Twitter, in these comments, on Facebook and by email I’ve come to realize that my readership is more than numbers on a screen. There are people who’ve never come forward until now counting on me to help them sort all this out and I honestly am not exaggerating at all when I say that has left me a little overwhelmed and more than a little humbled.

      I’m going to keep writing; unfortunately my appeal with Twitter was denied and it’s now becoming clear that my account was targeted because I argued with some Dem Party professionals who were harassing me on Twitter a couple of nights back. This in my estimation makes it extremely unlikely that @NinaDontPlayMtG will be unsuspended. Naturally, I do not agree with Twitter’s opinion and have pointed out the fact that they were harassing ME but in my experience “tie goes to the blue checkmark” is the law of the jungle on Twitter. This has forced me to start over @EIWBM_Cat, which is an account with roughly 3800 less followers – all in all, that’s not good news for my website.

      That having been said, all is not despair – I still have a Twitter account even if it’s not as popular yet ( https://twitter.com/EIWBM_Cat ) and after talking to some friends who manage websites for a living, I’ve opened up the comments here as well as started using my Facebook account ( https://www.facebook.com/NinaDotCom/ ) to engage more with content that isn’t replicated here. Finally, I have booked an appointment with a publicist tomorrow to discuss what my options might be in terms of growing this website/sharing links.

      I don’t know if all of this is going to be enough to offset the loss of traffic from a Twitter account with 4K followers; part of me thinks it probably won’t. Despite my disappointment with that however, I can’t ignore the fact that there are good people out there counting on me – I’m staying; I’m just expecting it to suck for a little while while I build back traffic and I’ll be begging my readers to share links to my stories now more than ever, just to survive.

      Thank you kindly for your comment, again, I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

      – nina

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