Banned from twitter

I still have my @DougJBalloon twitter account but earlier today I created a different twitter account, also under the name Doug Jones, with a different handle and email account. The handle was @RobertEGalt.

I didn’t say anything too out there. I just said that Herman Cain was a great patriot and that Jesus would love bombing abortion clinics (in response to someone who said Jesus wouldn’t). But I was banned almost immediately. It seemed to happen right after I created this (a copper coin with “Who Is John Galt” engraved on it) as my avatar. Is it because that image is copyrighted?

Update. Here’s what I got for my explanation:

This account, @RobertEGalt, was suspended for sending multiple unsolicited mentions to other users.

Weird, I just did like three replies to people.

79 replies
  1. 1
    YoohooCthulhu says:

    Did you strip the metadata out of it? I could imagine the image includes “copyrighted by” somewhere and twitter has automated schemes to detect unauthorized images.

  2. 2
    Doug Galt says:


    Thanks, that’s probably it.

  3. 3
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I wonder if you got spam-blocked. There’s a controversy raging about a right wing group of Twitter users that’s been issuing directives to spam-block people, which can sink a new account pretty quickly. Do you recall any direct mentions right before your account was blocked?

  4. 4
    MikeJ says:

    I see plenty of people responding to an Aug2 tweet from Bryan Fisher making the same point about bombing abortion clinics. My guess is somebody complained. Yo would think there would be some sort of explanation, but it’s not really required.

    If you made it sound as if you were advocating bombing, that would probably get you booted.

  5. 5
    gogol's wife says:

    Okay, but are you the one who’s tweeting under Shirley Temple’s name?

    (I promise this is my last comment to mention this.)

  6. 6
  7. 7
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Well, clearly, it’s because Twitter is trying to silence conservatives–just like Google, according to various wingnut barometers.

  8. 8
    Violet says:

    Can’t you contact Twitter about why you were banned? Other higher profile bannings, like @FiredBigBird after the Romney comment during the debate, were reinstated.

  9. 9
    Maude says:

    @Doug Galt:
    That’s the reason. New avi, new tweet.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    multiple unsolicited mentions to other users.

    I’m proud to say I have no idea what that means.

  11. 11
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    Twitter hates our freedoms.
    And it hates our way of life.

  12. 12
    srv says:


    Why don’t you spread your wealth around and ask the commentariat artistes to create some DougJ trollwares?

  13. 13
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Not that I have any moral standing to say this (given that I read this blog quite often), but it seems to be that you spend too much time on the internet. I must admit, however, that the time you do spend on the internet seems to be quality time, often with entertaining results.

  14. 14
  15. 15
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    It’s not like you’ve never been banned before, is it? Didn’t Sully, or Bobo, or someone at the WaPo or someone delete your account that time?

  16. 16
    srv says:

    @Jerzy Russian: Doug is actually rich and paid Cole to start the site. But most of his posts are really a bot.

  17. 17
    Jamie says:

    It seems to be pretty easy to get new accounts banned, if people bitch about them. Twitter appears to be very twitchy about it at the moment. Anecdata, but I know two people who were banned over relatively obscure technical arguments that couldn’t be farther from troll-farming. Honest, if somewhat solipsistic, opinions about writing code. You know, what Twitter engineers do for a living.

  18. 18
    Maude says:

    Yeah, but he wasn’t over the top. Mentions are when you put a link to someone else in your tweet.
    This is strange.
    It’s like what if Tunch wasn’t floofy.

  19. 19
    ruemara says:

    I’ve never been banned from anything. Clearly, I’m not working hard enough.

  20. 20
    max says:

    I didn’t say anything too out there. I just said that Herman Cain was a great patriot and that Jesus would love bombing abortion clinics (in response to someone who said Jesus wouldn’t).

    Good Lord, you are a real troo troll boy. I think I’ve been banned one time in almost 30 years, and I can’t even remember when that was. (To be fair, I remember almost being banned once on a different occasion, but that was another country type of electronic service, and besides the wench is dead I was 16 and not sober. And it was the 80’s and shut up, why were you sober during the 80’s?)

    I can’t decide whether I’m more amazed that you’re blithely swanning about intentionally trolling everyone in the universe and getting away with it, or that I’ve been banned so few times.

    Howabout @aynrhymeswithswine ?

    [‘Livin’ on the edge.’]

  21. 21
    MikeJ says:

    If you send unsolicited responses to people and they report you as spam, twitter will look at your history. One or two reports on a long standing account, no big deal. One or two reports on an account that has sent three tweets? You’ll get nuked.

  22. 22

    Bombing clinics? Probably wasn’t a winger that dropped a dime on you.

  23. 23
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ruemara: Have you ever thought you were banned from being banned?

    I know a guy who is banned from Sweden because of a football incident. English, of course.

  24. 24
    ruemara says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I’d be quite sad if I was banned from being banned without some sort of notice. I mean, half of making trouble is the attention.

  25. 25

    DougJ were you even nominated for the Moore Award this year?

  26. 26
    Maude says:

    That doesn’t make sense. People can reply to any public account.
    They don’t ask you to reply.
    I reply to sites like NASA all the time.

  27. 27
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    A US DUI will get you banned from Canada for a couple of decades. A lot of Americans will have to stay south of the border.

  28. 28
    Violet says:

    @MikeJ: So is the lesson that for a new account you need to play nice at first?

  29. 29
    Fwiffo says:

    It’s because you didn’t join #TGDN.

  30. 30
    duckbilledplacelot says:

    This is why:

    Several French groups demanded in a recent lawsuit that Twitter identify anonymous users posting anti-Jewish messages they argued broke French law, which prohibits Holocaust denial and hate speech. A French judge agreed and ordered the company to reveal the users**

    Suddenly giving a huge publishing platform to bullshit hate speech probably seems like less of a great idea! At least I hope that’s why you got kicked off, you damn Brechtian malcontent.*

    *Takes one to know one.
    **Linky kicked first comment to moderation. Pulled from mashable article that quoted NYtimes.

    oh for fuck’s sake, moderate more moserately, sitebots!

  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ruemara: If it makes you feel any better, I don’t recall being banned from anything either. God knows, I have deserved it; I think I have simply charmed my way out of it. Or something.

  32. 32
    MikeJ says:

    @Maude: And if they hit the “Report Spam” button, twitter will look at your track record. If you respond critically to people, they’re much more likely to hit the button.

  33. 33
    Keith G says:

    Oh the humanity.

  34. 34
    YellowJournalism says:

    @gogol’s wife: Please excuse me, I have to rush to Twitter and follow someone!

  35. 35
    Faux News says:

    Those Statist Sheep simply can’t comprehend the brilliance and purity which is John Galt. Keep trying Doug!

  36. 36
    RossInDetroit, Rational Subjectivist says:

    I’ve F-bombed other commenters on BoingBoing and got away with it. But I have a years-long record of sticking up for them so I have some cred banked.

  37. 37
    kindness says:

    You’re a rebel Doug. Make us proud.

  38. 38
    Maude says:

    It happened right away. I doubt they hit the spam button.
    It’s a strange suspension.
    It said mention, not reply. That’s different. He didn’t mention anyone.

  39. 39
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    It’s like what if Tunch wasn’t floofy.

    Tunch was floofy in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be.

    I cannot imagine a floofylessTunch universe.

  40. 40
    Narcissus says:

    The tweets were probably too coherent.

    Try spicing them with typographical errors and incorrectly spelled words.

  41. 41

    @SiubhanDuinne: We have not witnessed his blessed floofiness on the blog, off late. I miss our blog deity.

  42. 42
    mdblanche says:

    All right Doug, what did you really do?

  43. 43
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I was supposed to be banned from a bar I once frequented, but the manager confused me with someone else and wrote his name down in the bar diary instead.

  44. 44
    Maude says:

    I don’t want to live in a universe where Tunch isn’t floofy.
    That one just teetered over the edge of sanity.

  45. 45
    NotMax says:

    You intentionally posted things which were provocative and then became miffed when some one or other was provoked?

  46. 46
    Liberty60 says:

    Totally OT but I am wondering how the Black Metrosexual Jimmy Carter has suddenly morphed into Dr. Evil with superpowers like frickin lazerbeams shooting out of his eyes. Pew, Pew, Pew!

  47. 47
    magurakurin says:


    I’ve never been banned from anything

    I got banned from my college campus. Persona Non Grata. I was allowed to go to class and then I was to leave the campus grounds. I walked before they made me run on that one. Left school after that term. They were going to kick me out formally if I hadn’t already left. Or so the Assistant Dean informed me in a private meeting.

  48. 48
    magurakurin says:


    They could always go to Ireland

    “yeah, well, they’re way ahead out there.”

  49. 49


    Joe Scarborough blocked and banned me at about my second tweet to him, I took that as a badge of honor, I have been banned from so many birther sites I can’t even tell you. That too I take as a badge of honor. If bringing the truth to these fools is considered a banning offense then I am proud to do it.

  50. 50
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    When my wife and I were first married and broke as shit I was delivering pizzas 3x a week for extra money. I was like 27 years old. One old creepy guy in a shady apartment I delivered to freaked me out. I refused to go in and stood way back from him exchanging money and pizza. The next weekend my boss at the Pizza shop told me while I was working that the same guy ordered another pizza. He requested that I definitely not deliver his pizza. That made me pretty happy. I may have even tweeted about it if it existed at the time and I was 13. That’s as close as a ban I’ve ever received.

  51. 51

    LOL me and the boss were discussing that only this week, issuing someone a license to drive drunk. If only. He suggested shutting down the roads from 11pm until 6am every night and only allowing drunk drivers on the roads at that time. Eventually they will all kill each other. Thinning of the herd as they say.

  52. 52
    gogol's wife says:


    I know, right?

  53. 53
    magurakurin says:


    No, just a mouthy heathen at a Jesuit school. They never proved it, but they were pretty sure it was me who wrote, “skull fuck the Pope” with the letters on the cafeteria menu board (it was me.) Also, too, the incident with a character named “Woody” who drank another person’s piss for the 50 some odd dollars I collected from people who ponied up to see it. That didn’t help. The numerous times I was caught drunk and disorderly and generally being a pain in the ass…also a factor. Plus the drugs and the drugs and…..the drugs.

    Luckily I sobered up a few years later.

  54. 54
    ruemara says:

    *sulk* All I ever get is silence.

    @magurakurin: Jebus. I know it’s supposed to be bad, but it sure sounds more fun than I had at school. Apart from me liking school and studying but sometimes, I’d have liked to be like you, a hellion!

  55. 55
    magurakurin says:


    It was fun. A young man’s game though. Glad I gave it all up. No future in it, really.

  56. 56
    Regnad Kcin says:

    @magurakurin: That’s funny; we have a Dean Wormer at Faber College…

  57. 57
    magurakurin says:

    @Regnad Kcin: no really,it’s the God’s honest truth. I saved the letter for many years, but it’s gone now. Me and my partner in crime both got letters in the mail on the same day. Persona non grata it called us. We loved it. It didn’t amount to much, we still went up to the campus pretty much every night. We were living off campus in an apartment. And we didn’t think we were all that bad because the guys from the ice hockey team who lived across the hall…jesus, they were fucking nuts. We were light weights compared to them. They were proud of us for getting that persona non grata letter though. They were older, seniors, we were sophmores.

  58. 58
    magurakurin says:

    @efgoldman: I,luckily didn’t have to worry about the Draft. Ronnie Raygun was elected to his first term the November I entered college. A different kind of darkness was about to descend on the country….

  59. 59
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    I don’t want to live in a universe where Tunch isn’t floofy.
    That one just teetered over the edge of sanity gravity.


  60. 60
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Not that I have any moral standing to say this (given that I read this blog quite often), but it seems to be that you spend too much time on the internet. I must admit, however, that the time you do spend on the internet seems to be quality time, often with entertaining results.

    From Doug’s blog presence (all I know of the man), he’s a math professional and unmarried. And has a fondness for karaoke.

    Society’s better off when he’s busy on the internet, rather than IRL.

  61. 61
    Regnad Kcin says:

    @magurakurin: Oof. I made it off AcPro, only to find myself on DiscoPro as a Jr.

    Thankfully, they seemed to think letting my walk in June of my Sr. year was the better part of valor.

    Good times.

  62. 62
    Liberty60 says:

    Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son.

  63. 63
    Mark S. says:

    In Soviet Union, Twitter trolls you.

  64. 64
    jake the snake says:

    I’ve always thought it was the only way to go through life.
    Or, as my father liked to say, “everything I like is illegal, immoral or fattening.”

  65. 65
    Donut says:


    I thought more self-satisfied as opposed to miffed.

    This is all very “dog bites man,” ain’t it?

  66. 66
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @magurakurin: I apparently did it wrong (or right). I never got caught for the really bad things and the things foe which I got caught weren’t that bad. It probably helped that I went to college at a school that viewed personal behavior that did not harm others as one’s own business.

  67. 67
    Pinkamena Panic says:

    You started by sending @s. That’s the sign of a spam account.

    Next time make more regular tweets betqeen the @s.

  68. 68
    Jamie says:

    @ Anne:

    We are all better off with DougJ in the world. I’d say that is already obvious, but apparently, it isn’t.

    Next time he needs a place to sleep in SF, he has one. ( As do the rest of you, and restaurant picks, too. The Bay has some great places.) Bad neighborhood, close to central transport. Takes me less than 30 to get to Berkeley campus, although I don’t do that so much these days. Also about 30 from SFO. And downtown is very walkable. And “bad” is very relative- Cleveland and Brooklyn fucked me up, physically, much more than the worst of SF ever has. One reason why I settled here.

  69. 69
    mclaren says:

    It’s possible that the thing about Jesus bombing abortion clinics might have had something to do with it.

    On the upside, the Department of Homeland Security is now investigating Jesus as a possible terrorist…

  70. 70
    Kitty says:

    you may have run afoul of the keyboard commandos at the #TGDN Twitter Gulag Defense Network.

  71. 71
    xian says:

    replying on twitter is one form of mention. any use of @ and a person’s username is a mention, whether it is a direct reply to another tweet or not.

  72. 72

    Twitter will probably un-ban you if you ask nicely in an e-mail. The frequent banning of new accounts for unsolicited tweeting is Twitter’s desperate effort to deal with a hug ad-bot infestation. They can’t sell advertising if fake users advertise without paying (also no one would use twitter if their stream was all unsolicited ads).

    Basically you will probably get un-banned if you take enough time to prove that yours is not one of thousands of accounts set up by some computer somewhere. I think the spam accounts set up by some non paying advertiser mention each other a lot.

    It seems that all new accounts are highly suspect — my guess is that a large fraction of new accounts are set up by spammers. My impression is that a few day of acting like a human makes twitter less trigger happy.

    Oh also follow @robertwaldmann . I am not a ‘bot.

  73. 73

    I created an alternative twitter account that isn’t the usual…. I think the ratio of basic declarative statements to @replies or @mentions or links is important, especially if your total tweet count is low.

    So what you need are more Cheese Sandwich-style stwwets. Or even inflammatory tweets deriding certain politician/CEO 999 peeps.

    (I made the account to follow press briefings for Mars Curiosity, but tweeted in my usual fashion). And created a Storify story comprised of many people’s tweets and then mentioned to them that I had done so. Cue Twitter Suspicion meter. Account was suspended for unsolicited mentions, etc. I jumped thru some hoop to get it back, after which, I played it cool. Actually, I eventually stopped using that account.

  74. 74
    opie_jeanne says:

    @ruemara: I was banned from a family genealogy forum back in the ’90s.

    Bunch of old biddies.

  75. 75
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @max: I was sober during the 80s (underage) and it sucked.

  76. 76
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @opie_jeanne: Fuck yeah. My wife and I called them “tweeps” (this is before twitter & associated terms) because they were a bunch of old hens with a pecking order and not much better to say than “tweep, tweep, tweep”.

    Joke’s on them anyway because everything I told them would come to pass has. Everything.

  77. 77
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Suffern ACE: I am laughing so hard right now. What a dirty turn! I hope you took full advantage of the error and the other slob deserved it!

  78. 78
    polyorchnid octopunch says:

    So, to sum up… when creating a troll account, don’t troll with it. At least, not right away.

    Wait, wait… I feel a song coming on!

    When rancor’s too much, troll with it, baby
    Don’t stop and lose your touch, oh no, baby
    But thick heads knocking on your door, give it some space before you score
    Get on through it, then troll with it, baby
    Tweeps’ll come and then slip away, you’ve gotta move, bring it back to stay

    Don’t just troll with it, baby, come on don’t just troll with it, baby
    You and me, troll with it, baby, hang out then just troll with it, baby

    The way that you snark is good as money
    I swear by stars above, sharp and funny
    People think you’re down and out, you show them what it’s all about
    You can make it, to troll with it, baby
    When this net turns it’s back on you, hang in then do that snark thing you do

    Don’t just troll with it, baby, don’t just troll with it, baby
    Come on don’t just troll with it, baby, hang out then just troll with it, baby

    Now there’ll be a day you’ll get there, baby, you’ll troll all day and night, you’ll rant baby
    You’ll leave courtesy behind, nothing but harsh times on your mind
    You can do it, troll with it, baby
    Then you’ll be snark man in a trice, it’s just a step up to artifice
    Then just troll with it, baby, then just troll with it, baby
    you ess poli, just troll with it, baby, hit tee-cot and just troll with it, baby

    With apologies to Steve Winwood and his Songwriting Committee


  79. 79
    maus says:


    I wonder if you got spam-blocked. There’s a controversy raging about a right wing group of Twitter users that’s been issuing directives to spam-block people, which can sink a new account pretty quickly

    This, the right-wingers reported you as a spammer.

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