Idle No More: I’ve Been Suspended

There are reasons why someone’s account gets suspended on Twitter, or so they say. But it’s not so easy to find out what the specific reason might be when your own Twitter account is suspended.  In fact, even an email to Twitter may not shed any light on why a Twitter account is suspended.

The Terms Of Service state: “Your account may be suspended for Terms of Service violations if any of the above is true.”  While I can honestly say that I hadn’t breached any of the terms per se, there was some “wiggle” room under the “Spam” clause.  So what is this Spam clause to which Twitter refers?

Spam: You may not use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone. What constitutes “spamming” will evolve as we respond to new tricks and tactics by spammers. Some of the factors that we take into account when determining what conduct is considered to be spamming are:

If you have followed a large amount of users in a short amount of time;

I’ve supported the Idle No More movement for quite some time. In the course of that support, I have written blog articles that have been shared with a number of people. In that short period of time, many people have followed me and, in return, I have followed them.

If you have followed and unfollowed people in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive follower churn);


If you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile;


If you have a small number of followers compared to the amount of people you are following;

When my account was suspended I was following 3 people for every 2 people following me. That’s not an unbalanced ratio of following to followers.  In fact, that’s pretty balanced.

I know of an autism activist who has a ratio of 20 followers to every 1 he follows.  He also spams the daylights out of Twitter whenever he’s begging for votes or money.  But then again, maybe there’s that “fear of being labeled anti-autistic” coupled with his DNA that covers his account.  Who knows?

And there are many others just like him on Twitter.

But I HAVE noticed over the past couple of weeks that a number of accounts that belong to individuals who are identified as First Nations people or Métis are having their accounts suspended.  Maybe it’s just a coincidence.  Who knows?

If your updates consist mainly of links, and not personal updates;

Again, I comment on what people write and I reply to people who tweet me. This week has been a very busy week in particular and a number of news articles as well as blog articles have been tweeted and retweeted. I’m not the only one who has engaged in that practice. After all, the Idle No More movement is of vital importance not only to First Nations peoples but to all peoples.

If you post misleading links;


If a large number of people are blocking you;

Only bigots who seek me out, or who don’t like my answer to their direct tweets to me.  Other than that, no.

The number of spam complaints that have been filed against you;

If this is the case, then it’s from bigots who seek me out, or who don’t like my answer to their direct tweets to me.  Other than that, no.

If you post duplicate content over multiple accounts or multiple duplicate updates on one account;


If you post multiple unrelated updates to a topic using #;

No.  Every time I use #idlenomore and #cdnpoli and other related hashtags, it’s because the update is related to the topic.

If you post multiple unrelated updates to a trending or popular topic;


If you send large numbers of duplicate @replies or mentions;


If you send large numbers of unsolicited @replies or mentions in an attempt to spam a service or link;


If you add a large number of unrelated users to lists in an attempt to spam a service or link;


If you repeatedly post other users’ Tweets as your own;

No. When I retweet, it’s by way of the Twitter retweet function.

If you have attempted to “sell” followers, particularly through tactics considered aggressive following or follower churn;


Creating or purchasing accounts in order to gain followers;


Using or promoting third-party sites that claim to get you more followers (such as follower trains, sites promising “more followers fast,” or any other site that offers to automatically add followers to your account);


If you create false or misleading Points of Interest;

No, unless you’re against the Idle No More movement in which case I suppose such people are going to say that they find the titles for my blog articles to be “misleading” to them. They’re not.  They’re good titles that carry a “call to action” with them … something that every good business person knows is important if you want your readership to actively participate in what matters to the author.  And you know, the Idle No More movement really matters to me and to those I call friends and relations.

If you create Points of Interest to namesquat or spam.


So, let’s take a look at the overall Twitter picture. The fact of the matter is that the Terms of Service appear to be applied unevenly at How can I say that?

Thomas Taylor (whose article “Idle No More: A White Man Speaks” was well received) has tweeted and retweeted about as many tweets as I, with many of the same content and the same hashtags.  His account is still active.

Thomas and I were talking about this.  Thomas stated that perhaps his account was still active because he’s white (which he hasn’t hidden over the years) and I’m Métis (which I haven’t hidden over the years). He was wondering if it was because it’s human nature to be reluctant to go after those whom they perceive as being part of their own camp, even if they disagree with their point of view.

How about the bigots who have posted untoward comments (whose unwelcome comments were not put through) to this blog site, and who have then whined and complained publicly to me on Twitter? Those accounts appear to be active, too.

I know for a fact that certain disability advocates and activists tweet and retweet far more tweets on a daily basis without fear of having their accounts suspended. Maybe it’s because Twitter is concerned about accusations that they are discriminating against individuals with disabilities. Who knows?

I know for a fact that cybermobbing and cyberbullying is very much part of the Twitterverse, and that those who are most adept at cybermobbing and cyberbullying are able to sidestep suspensions by way of subterfuge and flying under the radar.

I also know for a fact (as the Shorty Awards nomination season begins) that thousands upon thousands of Tweeple will be breaching Twitter’s Terms Of Service (unknowingly and accidentally, of course) as they begin to gather large numbers of followers, click on a number of “Following” buttons for people they learn about via Shorty Awards nomination tweets, and eBeg for their eFriends to eVote for them to win in the eCategory for which they’ve been eNominated.  Twitter won’t suspend even one of those people.  Just sayin’ ….

Am I worried about having my Twitter account @ElyseBruce suspended? No.

Am I going to appeal having my Twitter account @ElyseBruce suspended. Yes.

Am I going to stop writing about the Idle No More movement? No.

You see, muzzling adults who speak rationally, reasonably and logically is something that appears to be a main staple for bigots and racists.

And so, my friends, if you don’t see @ElyseBruce on Twitter in days to come, it’s not because I’ve abandoned Idle No More.  Rest assured, you can still share everything I publish to this blog site via your own Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts. For that, I will be grateful.

Until tomorrow, when I publish another blog article on the Idle No More movement, be well and take care of each other.

Elyse Bruce

UPDATE:  My Twitter account has been reinstated, and the mystery has been solved.  Jealousy is an interesting thing, and I’ve been fortunate enough to find out who is jealous enough to galvanize their followers into reporting bloggers and mini-bloggers they really dislike.


3 Responses to “Idle No More: I’ve Been Suspended”

  1. Idle No More: About Those Indians « Elyse Bruce Says:

    […] Idle No More: I’ve Been Suspended […]

  2. renaissanzelady Says:

    Elyse: good for you, not being silenced under suspicious circumstances!

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