According to the sourcelink, Twitter has banned those horrific Krassenstein brothers because they allegedly broke the rules with respect to buying bot interactions and running fake accounts.
When I first saw this news circulating last night, I’m not gonna lie – I allowed myself a few glees. Those brothers are the absolute WORST of the worst.
But ultimately, I feel about them the same way I do about Twitter (or other social media platforms) banning people. It’s just waaaaaaay too arbitrary, their standards are fuzzy, and their power is simply too great.
Twitter said, about the brothers, “The Twitter Rules apply to everyone. Operating multiple fake accounts and purchasing account interactions are strictly prohibited. Engaging in these behaviors will result in permanent suspension from the service.”
But the brothers are denying it.
“Twitter claims that we manipulated our interactions through the purchase of fake accounts and fake interactions. We have never once acquired anything for the purpose of increasing our Twitter presence.”
They also say their use of alternate accounts was minimal:
“None of those accounts were ever used for manipulative purposes as Twitter claims.”
Now, do I think the brothers behaved in totally sketch ways? Absolutely. One of their accounts started as a Justin Bieber fan page, for crying out loud. And they have plenty of sketch dealings in their history.
But these permanent bans for rules that seem completely arbitrary to begin with? Nah. Doesn’t feel right.
What’s weird is that the brothers themselves are all for social media platforms banning people for whatever reason they’d like. You can read that in their giant statement right here. They’re convinced this is all a big misunderstanding and that Twitter will reinstate them shortly.
I’m not so sure, but I suppose we’ll see.
Let me just give you an example of how rules get broken on Facebook, though, so you can see why I hate these stories so much.
Three times in the past month, we’ve gotten notifications from our Facebook group page, that say there’s been content posted by a member of our group that contains nudity or sexual content. Here’s what one notification looked like:
That was a gif that showed the squirrel holding a nut, and then dropping that nut. This was what Facebook decided was adult nudity and sexual activity.
Obviously, since I was given the option of keeping or deleting the comment, I kept it. I mean, why would I delete a perfectly harmless gif?
It happened again a couple weeks ago – a photo that someone used in a comment was flagged as sexual, it wasn’t sexual in the slightest, and I approved it.
And then it happened again yesterday. With this gif:
Again, this gif, of a kid wagging his finger admonishing whoever he’s looking at, was flagged as sexual or adult nudity.
And it gets weirder.
Yesterday, this notice appeared on our group page:
I don’t know what to make of that exactly, except that when FB looks at pictures of squirrels and children and sees sexual content, they’re almost assuredly gonna look at other completely harmless stuff as hateful or dangerous.
And this is why I believe social media companies need regulating. Yes – I get the whole argument about them being private companies who can do what they want. Come on though – everyone knows they’re much more than that. They have effectively become the public square. There is no competition.
So yeah – I can’t stand the Krassenstein brothers, and I think they’re complete morons. But the power that social media companies have over people’s lives and livelihoods is just plain wack.