If you think your mentions are bad, imagine what @Jack sees when he checks Twitter.
@Jack is of course Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter. And each day he is tagged in a deluge of tweets. His mentions must fly by so fast they look like a slot machine.
We’re committing Twitter to help increase the collective health, openness, and civility of public conversation, and to hold ourselves publicly accountable towards progress.
— jack (@jack) March 1, 2018
Of course, as a way of actually contacting him, it’s useless. But people still tweet at Dorsey hour after hour, day after day. And, after we perused all the various tweets that are flung at him, certain patterns were revealed.
Here are five categories of tweet that seem to dominate Dorsey’s mentions.
“Ban this person”
Ah, yes, the never-ending requests to ban someone. Problem is, Twitter has been really inconsistent with this when it comes to who gets banned and who doesn’t. Remember the hand-wringing over the alt-right purge?
You should finish banning the alt-right Nazi’s like you said you would. Then get rid of all the Russian bots that you’ve allowed to pollute our discourse and tear at the fabric of America’s core. Please.
— Matt (@mrlt10) December 22, 2017
While much of the recent conversation has centered around Alex Jones, the most notable person to escape the Twitter ban hammer thus far is President Donald Trump, despite a deluge of tweets calling for it.
Not that there’s much hope of it ever happening. Once Twitter said that Trump’s threat of nuclear war towards North Korea in a tweet didn’t violate their terms of service, what really could cross the line?
As for Jones, he received a temporary suspension, but he’s still not banned from the platform because… Well, it’s actually hard to tell, as Twitter is basically the lone holdout in not removing Jones and his InfoWars program.
I’ve never seen anything more arbitrary that twitter’s ban logic
— Nathanael Geers (@geersn) August 8, 2018
Indeed, Jones will soon be able to tweet again, despite his hate-fueled conspiracy theories and very public harassment of people like the parents of Sandy Hook victims. Dorsey seems fine to let it continue.
Even more troubling than the banning of accounts is how much harassment goes on without consequence on Twitter. It is the platform’s biggest problem, pre-dating and overlapping with numerous other issues of abuse.
Twitter was the platform where GamerGate exploded. It was also where SNL‘s Leslie Jones was chased offline for no real reason other than that she was a prominent black woman whose tweets many people enjoyed, and trolls couldn’t stand that. (She would, thankfully, return.)
Welp…a bitch thought she could stay away. But who else is gonna live tweet Game of Thrones!!
— Leslie Jones ? (@Lesdoggg) July 21, 2016
But but of course countless users are harassed by trolls every day for a litany of reasons: misogyny, homophobia, because they’re journalists, and more.
You would help women journalists by verifying more of us, responding appropriately to targeted harassment of us and applying the TOS more stringently against accounts that stalk women journalists on here. If someone sends me 40 unsolicited tweets in a day, that is stalking.
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) August 11, 2018
And Twitters users aren’t shy about letting Dorsey know that it’s a damn big problem that he has done little to curtail.
Downloading my profile photo and reposting it with a hateful commentary about my sexuality or other character traits is an act of intimidation and harassment. However, every time I report this behavior, your team declines to take action against the aggressor. This. must. change.
— Ryan M. Ruark ?️? (@RyanMRuark) May 1, 2018
The problem continues unabated, Twitter users having to play a game of Whack-a-mole to block harassing accounts even as those trolls can so easily create brand new ones to pick up the harassment where the previous blockage left right off.
The “Shadow Ban” conspiracy
As the political maelstrom encompassing our country continues to swirl, so, too, does the controversy over alleged “shadow banning” of predominantly conservative accounts. The theory goes that Twitter quietly suppresses conservative users by preventing their tweets from reaching their audience without officially banning them.
Dorsey and Twitter have denied this is a thing in the past and had to do so again recently on, of all places, Sean Hannity’s radio show. It’s so prevalent even Trump has jumped on that bandwagon and those who believe it’s really a thing have begun adding red “X” emojis to their usernames.
Lots of people asking me what the Red Cross in my profile is about? It’s me stating that I have a Twitter QFD shadow ban! To check if you too have one go here & enter your twitter handle! https://t.co/bMSXSWsagO If you ARE shadow banned insert a Red Cross in your Twitter handle!
— David Vance ❌ (@DVATW) July 30, 2018
In case you were wondering, no one who thinks they’ve been shadow banned believes the denials from Dorsey.
@jack @Twitter @TwitterSupport The throttled impressions of my favorite twitter account @napoleonlegal show his account is shadow-banned. A quick read of his timeline will show that ALL the content is within twitter’s community guidelines by a wide margin. Please remove the ban.
— caleb (@TheEpochOfCRO) August 14, 2018
Of course not everyone wants to talk to Jack about harassment or political issues. There are still loads of complaints about technical problems that users want Jack to know about personally.
You gotta know that the chances of getting your complaint on the task list are probably pretty slim.
The Edit Button Holy Grail
The grandaddy of them all. The one Twitter complaint we’ve probably all considered making at some point. What else is there to say, really? We’ll be yelling about this one for eternity.
For now, though, we’re simply left to tweet-scream into the void that is @jack’s mentions, typos intact for history to see.