I've been getting impersonated on Twitter for the past ten years.
Published August 11th, 2021; Revised October 21st, 2021
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. That's not my intent; plus, that doesn't even work anymore. It's also not some cowardly attempt to get people in trouble, without actually confronting them. (The locals call that 'dry snitching', apparently.)
No: my intention, is this: as I finally recognize my own self worth, I am also realizing that how I've been treated was not right. And Twitter, God damn. Holy shit, have they not kept up their end of the bargain.
Twitter and I, of course, are separate entities. We have no real responsibilities to one another. Save for, of course, the responsibility that Twitter has to enforce their own rules. Which, for the entire duration of my 'relationship' with them, they really haven't.
One Bad Romance, Please
The Twitter Rules exist, but don't seem to be enforced.
Throughout the duration of my using Twitter, I've found that reporting rule violations is haphazard. It's a constantly-changing landscape of forms, and the enforcement of any of the rules seems to be done by people who either hate me, or are trained in such a way as to dismiss most problems.
Twitter's kind of like Whose Line?, where the rules are made up, and the follower count doesn't matter. Any and all decisions seem to be arbitrary; and when the service actually does bring action against accounts, they seem to almost-always be
After a decade of trying to get this right, I have to fucking wonder: Is this how they want it to be run?
Because, if it is, holy
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.
I used to think that it was, specifically, that Twitter just doesn't give a fuck about
One Puzzle, Please
So what the fuck is actually going on?
Over the last decade, I will say that I have been extraordinarily patient, and especially
For pretty much my entire Twitter 'career', I've had at least one person impersonating me, at all times. The person changes pretty frequently; they tend to get suspended for mouthing off at the wrong people. But, through it all, there they are; and there they have been. They cause chaos, incite violence, say anti-semitic, racist, sexist, transphobic, homophobic dreck, all while proudly proclaiming that
Twitter has never done anything about this. Once, when one of my impersonators (of which there have been around 30 to 40, at this point, over the last ten years) decided to body shame Billie Eilish, they got in enough trouble to get the notice of journalists. And when
That's precisely how I found out that this person had been doing this since 2015.
Once reported, Twitter, of course, did nothing. I've filed perhaps 6 reports at this point, and, each time, I either get the run-around, or I'm summarily dismissed. They're not a parody account, either: they're genuinely a person who is trying their best to ruin my life, by saying inflammatory shit and redirecting it at me. And Twitter's just letting them.
Their modus operandi is pretty clear. It's the same group of trolls, and they've basically taken turns trying to fuck me over like this over the past decade.
For the most part, I haven't said anything. For starters, I'm usually the last person to find out; and, by that time, they've already done enough damage that it's like putting out a forest fire with a thimble of water. But, also, every time I've ever tried to report it, nothing would ever happen. Twitter would take no action. In part due to fear of Twitter just deciding to randomly ban my ass again, and in part due to learned helplessness, I simply stopped speaking out. What's the fucking point?
But why did Twitter never help me? Was it because I slipped through the cracks? Was it that somebody who worked there hates me? Or is it just that Twitter does not care, in general? About anybody?
The abuse itself has happened in cycles. Until very recently, I hadn't even put the pieces of this puzzle together. Por ejemplo, I had no idea that these people had been collaborating, in order to try to terrorize me. But they were. And, probably, still are.
In the past ten years, I've counted a little over 30 people who have been stalking me, both online and off the platform, for years at a time. Oftentimes, I've been able to pinpoint just who is who, and which stalker is which. But, until now, I had no idea that a lot of them were working together. That's fucking creepy. Just a group of people coordinating abuse of the same person, for a little over a decade. Why the fuck?
Their intentions, though not often plainly stated, sometimes have been. It's simple: they want to scare me. They want to terrorize me. They want to follow me around, and ruin my day. Some of these people have even claimed that they've been stalking me in real life, and taking pictures of me when I was unawares. That part seems to be just a lie, though.
Other than that, their main impetus for doing this seems to be to cause trouble for me. To ruin my good name. Interestingly enough, I don't really give a shit about my reputation. I do good things, and I get punished for it. I've come to accept that.
But that doesn't change the fact that there are people on Twitter, pretending to be me, right now, who have run around and told people to kill themselves.
I have no real defense against this. In point of fact, right now, you could open a Twitter account, say that you're me, say anything, and there would be absolutely nothing I could do about it.
Because Twitter doesn't care.
Why does Twitter need my business card?
The run-around I've gotten for reporting Impersonation has been truly stupid. Once or twice, Twitter has asked me for my business card.
Most-recently, Twitter asked me to provide legal documentation for my 'pseudonym'. The person impersonating me, they simply claim that @icze4r is their alternate account; this acts to redirect the backlash they receive for their actions, to me. My fucking chosen name has nothing to do with this.
Still, because my legal name in the U.S., and my chosen name as a trans person, differ, getting Twitter to do anything has been like pulling teeth, with your bare hands. It doesn't work. It never works. And, when I found actual legal documentation of my 'pseudonym', and I sent it in, Twitter just kicked back a, 'that ain't Impersonation', and closed the fucking ticket. I can't win.
Once, 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?
I would very much like to pretend that I feel genuine concern about my name being drug through the mud. Unfortunately for me, I don't. It pisses me off, clearly; and I want to be able to act when people pretend to be me, and start spreading hatred under my name. But, I would be lying if I said that them doing so was of great concern, re: the protection of my reputation. I have three fucking scholarly articles dedicated to either misgendering me, or discussing whether or not I have a dick. I don't expect much these days from human beings.
While I have started my writing career now, in earnest, I don't give a single fuck about my reputation. The more famous you are, the more stupid shit people make up about you. I have no control over it, usually. But this, under the Twitter Rules, is something I should have control over. But I keep getting denied.
I would very much like to not be bitter about this sort of treatment. But, I am.
I have been extraordinarily patient. But it's been 10 fucking goddamned years, and I'm tired of this shit. I deserve better.
Twitter, what the living shit 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.
Interestingly, the goddamned form seems to change at least every month, if not every week. Some people have managed to even snag inactive usernames through this process. I'd say they're more successful getting something they don't deserve, than I am getting something I'm actually entitled to.
It's the weirdest shit in the world. To make matters worse, contacting @TwitterSupport isn't going to produce any joy: you can just search on Twitter and see how they never respond to any Impersonation reports. I don't know why, but I'm guessing there's some convoluted, fucked-up legal reason. Even more interesting is that they once told people to seek support through that venue; and now, it's been closed. Can't even DM them anymore.
I used to think this was personal. The reality, however, seems more to be that, they haven't fully committed to just ignoring me. They have fully committed to ignoring fucking everybody.
It wasn't even working back in 2013.
A Pint of Consideration
I have absolutely no control over people impersonating me on Twitter. This problem, in the future, I fear, may be getting worse. So, I'd like to head them off at the pass, like.
I'm going to use this space to tell you where I actually am. And, I'm going to include proof.
I have no real control over my Google Knowledge Panel, but I do monitor it. As of October 21st, 2021, all the accounts there are current, and real. @icze4r on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.
I'm Verified on Amazon. I have no idea how the Hell this is going to help me, but it's there. I'm also Verified on Pornhub, and Bing. I have some control over those; though, ultimately, I am at their mercy.
Quite sadly, my Knowledge Panel changes so frequently that, as of this writing, you cannot Google me and have Google positively affirm that icze4r.org is my website. Currently, it thinks that MargaretGel.com is my primary website. It's not: it's the secondary. It's my weblog. But both websites are mine.
I've thought about this, a lot. Infuriatingly, Twitter, the website I use the most, refuses to Verify me; so I cannot use that as an 'anchor', for my online presence. But, through the careful application of
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, these days, this is where I get impersonated the most, 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◕✿)