Due to unusual activities, Twitter has locked my account to keep it safe couple months ago. According to Twitter, the reason of the lock and the unusual activity was my account did spam and detected by the Twitter spam system. However, there was no spam activity by my account and the main reason for the lock was my connection came from Tor network! Today, my account is locked by Twitter with the same reason again. Guess what? I’m still a proud Tor user.
Probably, the first question is going to ask me why I’m still using Twitter even this “locking the Tor user account behaviour” known by the public. And indeed, this is a logical and the right question. Twitter is one of the most used social media network with Facebook in Turkey. Aside its popularity among the Turkish users, if we consider the censorship, surveillance, suppression and censorship of the local media, violation of the human rights including right to privacy, communication privacy, freedom of expression etc in Turkey, Twitter is giving more semi-free freedom of expression space for its users than its competitors. –Also note that, I’m excluding Turkish government’s daily tweet delete/censor requests from Twitter for this topic.-
Moreover, it’s really hard to attract Turkish people to get them use other tools or networks for communication and impossible to change their daily Internet usage from mobile or PC. And I (and also many people’s) don’t have an extra energy nor time for this. Also, Twitter is one of the easiest way to get “true” news or a network that you can verify whether the news is true or not and this is one of the main reason to have a Twitter account in Turkey. Besides these, my other reason to choose Twitter was to share my articles about anonymity, privacy, censorship, freedom of speech and digital rights in Turkey to attract attention of the Turkish users.
First of all, Twitter’s spam fight is not logical and not sustainable. Under an oppressive and non-democratic regime like Turkey, Twitter is taking away this semi-free freedom of expression space from the Tor users who may share an important thing or wants to verify a news or has a capacity to verify/share a news for the public interest etc by a nonsense spam system. Moreover, Twitter asks a phone number to send a verification code to unlock it from its users whose privacy is under danger by these oppressive regimes. Honestly, Twitter is blocking the Tor network and does not care who uses it. Also, it is not checking the accounts and believe me I know this may take a lot of time and energy. But this won’t change the wrongfulness of the spam system logic. Yes, we know that Twitter delete or censor tweets, block or lock accounts etc. And sadly, you’re “free” in Twitter as much as it gives you. But this mind must change! It has to be changed!
Last and to keep it short, this time I’m not going to get in touch with Twitter to unlock my account. I have no idea whether Twitter is aware of this lock situation affects many users or not. But, I’m (and also many Tor users) pretty sure that this is not the right way to fight against spam!