And Twitter is never, ever going to do a single thing about it.
This article is not written as some impassioned backdoor plea, to get me verified. Though I've seen it work, that is not my intention. This is also not some cowardly attempt to get people in trouble.
No: my intention, is, I'm finally recognizing my self worth. And Twitter has just left me out in the cold for the entire duration of our relationship.
And I'm gonna fucking scream about it.
You might ask, 'what relationship?'. Well. Twitter makes up rules; and then, it never enforces them. And when it actually does bring actions against accounts, they're almost-always wrong.
My bad relationship with Twitter support staff started when I was mistakenly banned, back around 2011. Even though I received a personally-written letter of apology, before that, I watched as a moderator at Twitter actively argued to keep me banned. Why? No actual policy reason: they said they wanted me to stay banned simply because they didn't like me.
The only reason I found out is because a Twitter moderator forwarded me the conversation, saying that they did not agree with what was going on, behind closed doors, with the moderation staff, at least, and that they were resigning after whatever decision was made against me.
Past that, I've witnessed Twitter's support team refuse to do anything about numerous death and rape threats against me. As well as, I should note, all the child pornography and bestiality I reported, that had been posted on the platform. It once took Twitter a full fucking year to remove some child pornography. I don't expect much from them, to be honest.
On the face of it all, it's baffling to me. In many cases, Twitter's moderation team dismissed any concerns I had about death threats being sent to me through the service, and, when I reported rape threats, they never responded. The reports of rape threats weren't even replied to.
On Twitter, it's a fucking free-for-all. On Twitter, in point of fact, anyone can impersonate me. With impunity. And there's nothing I can do. You can, in fact, just plain threaten my life. Nothing's going to happen to you. I've seen this myself. Two separate people have told me, point-blank, that they're going to come to my house and shoot me. Twitter never cares. They've gone out of their way to say that those aren't death threats.
Twitter doesn't give a fuck about me.I have been extraordinarily patient, and especially forgiving, over the past 10 years, as people have impersonated and harassed me, and others, under my name. However, I am now asserting myself. I'm putting my foot down. This shit needs to stop. Right now.
For pretty much my entire Twitter 'career', I've had at least one person impersonating me, every year. Their modus operandi has always been to register a similarly-spelled username on Twitter, and go about Twitter and harass people. Usually, they explicitly claim to be me.
For the most part, I never have really said anything because, first of all, I'm always the last person to find out, usually. Second, every time I tried to report it, no action would be taken; so, because of learned helplessness, I simply stopped speaking out. But now, I'm beginning to recognize my self-worth. And I feel like screaming. Why did Twitter never fucking help me?
The abuse has happened in cycles. Until recently, I had no idea that these people were collaborating: but, they are. And they have been. I've counted, in the past 10 years, a little over 30 people who have either stalked me and threatened me on the platform, for years at a time; but, until now, I had no idea that a lot of them seemed to be working together, in at least some sense of that word.
After investigating a bit, the people trying to impersonate me? Once I find their main accounts, I quickly find out that a lot of these people all follow each other. Judging by how congenial and amiable they are when talking with one another, they're friends. I have no idea how much of the abuse is coordinated; but, at least some of it has been.
Their intentions have not often been stated, and when they have been, it's simple: they want to scare me. They want to make me feel bad. They want to follow me around and ruin my day. And, especially, they want to pretend to be me, and then harass others, in my name. To ruin my good name.
I've got people pretending to be me on Twitter, right now, who have run around and told people to kill themselves.
And Twitter doesn't do shit about it.
On the face of it, I want to make something perfectly clear: none of this has negatively, personally affected me. I am not here to hold a pity party for poor wittle me. I am not scared, nor sad:
Any report I made to Twitter about this, would either be replied to with a stonewalling dismissal; or, as has been the case quite recently, Twitter would request something of me that is quite unreasonable.
This time, Twitter demanded a letter affirming that I am THE AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF MYSELF, as well as a scan of my business card. And driver's license. I can see the driver's license; what the fuck is this other nonsense? A business card?
This isn't even because I've just started my writing career in earnest, and I feel a desire to protect 'my good name.' I don't give a single fuck about my reputation. I never have. It's hard to care about what people think of you when the most common experience you have with a human is them looking at you like you're a freak, or hearing them call you a nigger.
I'm writing this because Twitter never did anything. And they fucking should have.
I have been extraordinarily patient. I have been especially forgiving. But it's been 10 fucking goddamned years, and I'm tired of this shit. This isn't even about browbeating or shaming Twitter into doing what I want. I'm writing this to ask: Twitter, what the FUCK is wrong with you?
Waaaaaaay back when, Twitter had a better Impersonation Reporting form. You could tell them how the impersonation was happening, exactly. As it stands right now, the form is just about as fucking useless as the Instagram Verification Request form. Nothing you provide is ever going to be good enough: trust me. I've been through this. They're fuckheads.
First they told me to simply reply to the report e-mail, and they would continue the investigation. Then, that wasn't good enough, and they requested a letter; a business card; and my driver's license. I'm not going any further, for two reasons:
- What the living shit? I'm supposed to have business cards? What? I'm not making up business cards just for this.
- A LETTER SAYING FUCKING WHAT?
It's the weirdest shit in the world. I submit a report, saying I, as a person, am being impersonated: they say that I'm not being impersonated, when I clearly am. I then submit a report on the behalf of my brand, and they go— welp, you're submitting as a company.
To make matters subtly worse, contacting @TwitterSupport has produced no joy. I think they're fully committed to ignoring me, now. And if it's not just me, it's fucking everybody, then.
And, believe-you-me, it is fucking happening.
A Pint of Consideration
In part due to certain life changes, and in part due to introspection and recent depression, I've started to 'take stock' in what I have, in this life. I wanted to know how far I've made it. And the answer is, pretty far!
I prefer to keep myself humble. Online achievements, I don't think that they really matter. I do, however, want to talk about mine.
Google has seen fit to Verify me; as has Amazon. But, with Twitter? Where I spend most of my time online? Where it would actually be helpful? Nunca. Never.
Pisses me off.
For Amazon, they Verified me as an Influencer. It's a non-job-title, to be sure; but, I'd prefer to think that they saw some sort of presence worth authenticating.
For Google, they make things very simple: they verify people so that nobody else can fuck with your profile. That is, at the very least, what they say if you verify your business. I'm gonna take a big hot guess and say that this applies to personal Google Knowledge Panels, as well.
I bring those two things up because, I'm going to use them now as a form of social trust. By that, I mean— you can Verify that I am, who I say that I am. You can Google "icze4r", and you'll see icze4r.org as my website. That means something, to me.
This is me. I am here. icze4r.org is my domain. I also own icze4r.com and icze4r.net, amongst other ones I'm not entirely ready to divulge— not just yet, anyways.
That being said, let's get to the meat of the point. Shall we?
I don't want to get impersonated on Twitter anymore. Or anywhere, really. I am not famous on the level of a movie star; I am, however, a target of impersonation. And while I would like some help from Twitter, it doesn't look like I'm going to be getting that.
On the face of it, it would be simple for Twitter to actually enforce their rules; or, to my pleasure, just Verify me. But t'ain't happenin', and I ain't holdin' my breath for neither.
So, if Twitter isn't going to help me against Impersonation, I have to help myself. So here's the short-and-skinny of who I am, which accounts are real, and which aren't.
Verified GoodReads Author Profile, linking to icze4r.org
@icze4r, my Twitter account
I do not use Discord.
I do not use the Fediverse. (More often than not, this is where I also get impersonated, sometimes even more than on Twitter.)
While I do have other accounts, I'm moving away from using most of them. I've mothballed one account, @MargaretGel, for now; and, another account, which shall remain otherwise unreferenced until I feel like it, I am slowly moving away from using. The ones referenced above are pretty much all the ones I care about.
Okay I'm done I love you bye-bye c(◕ᴗ◕✿)