Aug 25, 2016 ยท 2 minutes

Need more proof that Twitter is fucked?

Meet Jim Weber.

Yesterday afternoon, Weber, a sports blogger and founder of lostlettermen.com, announced that he had been permanently banned from Twitter for posting a handful of gifs of the Olympics. The ban - again, a permanent ban according to Twitter - followed a DMCA complaint from the IOC.

Banning Weber for reposting a tiny, tiny amount of intellectual property (he didn’t make the gifs himself) is of course, ridiculous. DMCAs don’t demand the deletion of an entire account, just the infringing content. The correct course of action would be for Twitter to allow Weber to remove the material and then, yunno, leave him the fuck alone because a gif of a gymnast isn’t anyone’s retirement fund. Moreover, it’s frankly grotesque that Jim Weber is banned for pissing off the IOC when the worst trolls in the universe have to try almost impossibly hard to attain the same punishment.

But banning Jim Weber for no good reason is not why Twitter is fucked.

Twitter is fucked because a few hours later, Jim was mysteriously unbanned. His account restored. The account that had been permanently banned.

In doing so Twitter proved that a permanent ban means absolutely nothing. It means nothing to the women who are told they can return to Twitter because their harassers have been permanently banned, or to law enforcement who are assured that murderous stalkers have been permanently banned, or the rest of the world when we’re told in press releases that Twitter has permanently banned hundred of thousands of terrorists.

Jim’s banning - no matter how much I agree with the decision in Jim's or any other individual case - shows there’s no such thing as a permanent ban on Twitter. What there is: A temporary ban, until Twitter changes its mind. Or decides it’s made a terrible mistake. Or flips a coin.

What we also know is that is that Twitter has absolutely no system for checking that a permanent ban is correctly imposed in the first place. Or if it does have a system then that system is controlled by robots, or halfwits.

We know that if Jim can be banned, then we all can. And if Jim can be unbanned, so can anyone.

Welcome back to Twitter, Jim. Enjoy it while you can. Because Twitter just showed that it doesn’t have a clue what it’s doing. And that's why Twitter is fucked.