November 29, 2012

AnonOpsSweden writes debate article #English

On November 24th our twitter account was suspended by twitters support. On November 27th, the day Swedish media wrote about this event, we got the first email from twitter in response to our suspension. Their answer to the reason for our suspension is confusing to say the least. They refer to a tweet whereby we shared a link to a hacked website. The twitter account which tipped us off about the hack has also been suspended.
What we do is report to our followers about injustices in the World. We spread news about the Anonymous collective and other related news that may be of interest. We have done this and it is now also why we have been suspended.

The alleged breach of contract is to have shared information from a third party, in this case, a link to a hacked Spanish right-wing website. This can be compared to when the Swedish newspaper Expressen published the article, "Sweden Democrats website hacked again" (2010-09-18). If this were to result in the same kind of treatment that Twitter have applied, then Expressen would lose the right to publish anything at all as a result of this single newspaper article. The only thing that was done was to forward events from a third party, which reasonably is covered by the right to freely notify  media, or equivalent in each country with good journalistic practice.

The problem is not that we have been suspended, but the incredible power that Twitter has on the public debate. Sure, we have accepted twitter TOC but when a private company has such power over the public debate another part of society has failed. Twitter has proven to be a very good platform for the dissemination of news around the World and the subsequent debate. This is something we strongly support, but as the owner of this platform, they must take the responsibility that comes with it and ensure any reports of abuse are handled in a reasonable manner and within a reasonable time frame. It should be mentioned that other accounts have had time to be both disabled and re-enabled before we got information about the reason for our suspension, and therefore we have not been able to defend against it.

See also, "UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights' Article 9, paragraph 2", which guarantees that, if arrested, you are to be immediately informed of the reason for this. Suspension from internet platforms such as Twitter, in that they now have to be considered as part of the public sphere is essentially the same results as an arrest as well as arbitrary censorship. No one can reasonably consider it too much to ask that someone accused and even punished for something also must be told what they are accused of and given a reasonable opportunity to respond to the charge within a reasonable time. This has also given the opportunity for others to attempt identity theft.

The fact that even our backup account was blocked with no links to hacked websites published is reminiscent of censorship. Certainly there is the possibility of mistakes committed but then we demand that these be corrected immediately. Twitter has the ball on their half of the pitch and it is time for them to start playing fair.

We are Anonymous,
We are legion,
We do not forgive,
We do not forget.
Expect us!

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