Something happened to me today that reminded me of the early days of the Internet. The AOL Chat room. Remember those?
The topic didn’t matter after a while. We were all Flirt-Pioneers. We learned alot about ourselves and about others. We learned quickly what worked and what didn’t. When you broke a rule people would find the administrator. The Admin would then slap your hand or worse: you’d get TOS’d.
Remember that verb? TOS’d. You were guilty of violating the Terms of Service. Terms of Service is/are the loooooooooooong boring thing no one ever reads when they sign up for ANYTHING. From Facebook to Amazon.
It seems that today, Face Palm Sunday, I got slapped on my fingertips by the nice birdies at Twitter. It seems I got TOS’d.
I tweeted something and used the hastag #atheist. There is a “retweeter” on the Twitter that re-posts things that have that hashtag. I decided to “follow” that retweeter. OK.
So this morning I was flooded with messages. I thought, cool. I will see what other atheists are posting about and laugh a little.
First two were funny. Images of the Easter Bunny on the Cross. The other the image of a famous American televangelist next to an image of a starving child in sub-Saharan Africa. Something about “It’s God’s Will” or something.
Then, I noticed that non-atheists were using the same hashtag. It seems this retweeter doesn’t care about content just cares about retweets. So I scroll down through #islam and #jesus and #christianity.
I assumed (naively) that these “folks” wanted to have conversations about their beliefs. I noticed that one person was “very good” at drafting her tweets. I thought I would engage.
It seemed that after one or two responses from me I was reported to the top birds and I received a gentle notice:
YOUR ACCOUNT IS BEING SUSPENDED
Huh? What? Did I just get TOS’d? Yawp. I did.
I got caught up in what I thought was a conversation that turned into me getting baited and then slapped with a “we will suspend your account” notice from Twitter. For? Having a conversation. The person on the other end blocked me and then reported me as SPAM. SPAM?
It’s going to take some time. It’s going to take some sweat. It’s going to take tears. I am confident that I will know how to use Twitter by the end of 2014.