You’re On a List

It’s not often you see your name in lights, and seldom can you see it in shadow -LS

Recognition should be celebrated and it’s humbling when a story you post is received in a positive manner. It’s an affirmation of the hard work and research you put into it, and it’s reflected in the people who follow and respect you.

This blog over the last four years has been recognized nationally on more than a few occasions and I’m truly proud of that. It’s an honor to have a story with one’s name on it be linked, liked, shared across social media and mentioned by respected news sites.

Every journalist should want that type of exposure, however, what if the motives for your name being highlighted are dubious and the reasons discriminatory? This question has been on my mind since it was brought to my attention that my Twitter handle @iamlibertyspeaks is on a list circulating online.

In case you’re wondering, I’m in the 3rd column towards the bottom and according to the disclaimer one of 124 “notorious accounts“.

As of today there is no proof of where this partial list and the alleged 82 other pages (yet to surface) originated from. I can not confirm its authenticity, nor legitimacy. I reached out to the individual who posted the tweet as to why my handle appears on it and have yet to receive a reply. There are more than a few questions I have regarding this issue. Did it come from someone with in the Twitter ranks or a hack? Is it an accurate list of accounts being targeted or is it just plain made up crap? Either way it’s now floating in the ether of cyberspace.

Let’s discuss some of Twitters latest actions to give some context. When the social media platform rolled out its newest update on Feb 7th, to combat harassment and trolling, many people including myself considered it a form of censorship and silencing of a particular view or opinion. Thousands on-line voiced their dislike, and even the stock market took notice.


The update was reported on by Buzzfeed, Business Insider, The Verge, and others as a “safety feature” but a rose by any other name just wouldn’t sound as ominous as Shadow Banning.

The Verge explained the term in its article on Twitters Anti-abuse measure as the “oldest trick in the book”

Users have begun getting notices that their tweets are on a kind of time-out. These users are being told that “only your followers can see your activity on Twitter for the amount of time shown below,” followed by a number of hours — the examples seen so far are all 12 hours. It starts when the user clicks a button to “Continue to Twitter.”

Allowing a user to continue to post to a forum but limiting who can actually see those posts is commonly known as a shadow ban or a stealth ban. But it has other names, and it’s one of the oldest moderation tricks in the forum book. In its earlier iterations, vBulletin forum software called it “tachy goes to coventry.”

It wouldn’t be the first time one of Jack Dorsey’s ideas upset those who use his platform. Remember the Trust and Safety Council? YEP, that was a winner. The Council proved to be nothing more than an updated version of the Orwellian Thought Police and Brendan O’Neill explained it best in his Spectator article “Twitters New Safety Council Makes a Mockery of Free Speech”

We’re witnessing the beginning of the end of the glorious experiment in human intellectual exchange that was the Wild West Web.

So who or what is deciding an account should be “shadow banned” for lack of a better term? Is it an algorithm that searches for keywords? Is it based on user reports? Followers? Interactions? TOS violations? Twitter after all is notorious for suspending accounts for TOS violations, yet other accounts doing the exact same thing remain unscathed. I really could go on, but I digress.

So whats the connection between the 124 accounts on the one page released? Are ALL the accounts Conservative, Pro-Trump, Republican, or Verified? Are they ALL seditious, conspiratorial, abusive or nefarious in nature? Do they ALL share the same views, opinions and sentiment? Are they ALL posting violent images, using vulgarity, making threats, or violating Twitters TOS?

The perception online is that ALL these accounts are connected. The perception is we are all the same, and pardon the expression, but perception can be a very fickle bitch. Some are calling the list the ultimate #FF or Friday Follow, a badge of honor, while others are calling it a one stop shop on who to target and report. On a personal level what connection do I have to the other accounts? Many on the list I respect, and was lucky enough to meet during BlogCon 2013. There are award-winning journalists on that list and being counted among them, this notorious group, is a very humbling experience. To be perceived as influential is an honor, but I’ve always striven to just be fair-minded and diplomatic. I try to keep the faith through my writing and my online presence.

Perhaps I should be flattered and not so inflamed, but I went through it once before with Facebook’s “Real Name” policy. Something I can say greatly effected my ability to have a voice in the game.

If this list is 1 of 82 and proves to be legitimate, then perhaps Twitter should be reminded of a 2011 blog post by its co-founder Biz Stone called “The Tweets Must Flow“. The first paragraph says it all.

Our goal is to instantly connect people everywhere to what is most meaningful to them. For this to happen, freedom of expression is essential. Some Tweets may facilitate positive change in a repressed country, some make us laugh, some make us think, some downright anger a vast majority of users. We don’t always agree with the things people choose to tweet, but we keep the information flowing irrespective of any view we may have about the content.

A final note:  If society refuses to acknowledge that its a collection of individuals, then it ceases to be a haven for thought and becomes a collective. Our dreams & ideas can’t survive the echo chambers of such a prison, so don’t be surprised when individual thought starts planning it’s escape. -LS

Side Note:

Mike Cernovich of Danger & Play (also on the list) has some interesting insights and quantitative data regarding his own “ShadowBan” on Twitter.  Check it out for further reading.

*As new information comes in, the Updates will be posted here.

Thank you to Wow Magazine  for linking

Thank you to Grumpy Opinions for linking

Thank you to for linking the story on Gab


Posted in Err What?, EXCLUSIVE, Free Speech, Issues, Liberty Speaks, Media Bias, Narratives, New Civility, New Media, Orwellian, Patriotism, Poltical Correctness, Reactions, Really?, Say What?, Shutuppery, Social Justice, Social Media, Twitter, wait what? | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Calling Out Montel Williams

Hypocrisy is a dish that at best has no intellectual nutritional value, and at worst poisons all future meals you wish to serve in my opinion. It is something that should never be brought to the table and if presented as a viable sustenance, should be called out for the weak minded feed slop that it is.

That being said, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out a 140 character piece of swill that Montel Williams tweeted out to not only the founder of this blog, but my friend and mentor A. P. Dillon after she criticized one of his Tweets..


In a stunning move of validation to the lack of grace comment, Mr. Williams sent out this


Oh so filled with grace don’t ya think?

This coming from a man who has long been an advocate for Veterans suicide prevention, who has challenged Senators for not supporting legislation that address’s the issue, and who has lectured others in the past for “joking” about suicide on Twitter.


Let me repeat those words..

There is no place for joking about suicide, especially on a platform as big as yours.

By saying this was a “veiled” suggestion for someone to kill themselves, would be letting Mr. Williams off lightly and the hypocrisy is flat out oozing after so boldly lecturing someone on Twitter for not taking the issue of suicide seriously. However, there is something else that must be brought to light.

Montel doesn’t have a following of millions, but his “platform” of 172 thousand plus followers is still a large platform. How many Veterans I wonder are on that list? How many men and women who have served our country honorably have looked to him as an advocate regarding Veteran Suicide? How many saw that tweet?

I had followed Montel and he followed me on Twitter for a couple years. I even reached out to him May of 2015 through private messages regarding a website solely designed to disparage and humiliate our disabled Veterans. I was actually honored he even replied.



Though he never replied back after that, or addressed the vile website publicly, I still continued to follow him. Even though we had differing political beliefs I still followed him. Until today.

Nasty attacks on Twitter are so common place that is seems we no longer are shocked by them and we dismiss them as easily as an annoying fly hovering over a meal.

So why does this situation rise to the level of ire that has caused this post to be written? Let me be clear with this statement. It’s not Montel’s Tweet attacks against women whom disagree with him and it’s not the hypocritical nature of the tweet nor whom the tweet was directed at that has disgusted me. That was just a catalyst. It was the blatant disregard for the brave men and women of our military who follow Montel Williams on Twitter. Some of whom, after the wars have ended, are still fighting demons and look to him as an advocate for Veteran Suicide Prevention.

Though the tweet has since been deleted, only after being reported to Twitter support for TOS violations and an outcry of profound disapproval, I can’t help but to still have a nagging thought regarding this….

How many of our Veterans have taken their own lives by the very means that Montel Williams tweeted out? Perhaps he can answer that question.



Side-note: AP Dillon addressed the tweet in a radio interview on the Freedom Action Network. Starts at 3 minutes.

Thank you to Doug Ross Journal for linking

Thank you to North Carolina Pockets of Resistance for linking

Thank you to Grumpy Opinions for linking

Thank you to PUMABydesign001 Blog for linking

Posted in Acts of Violence, Celebs, Err What?, Free Speech, Issues, LadyLiberty1885, Liberty Speaks, New Civility, Pat McCrory, Reactions, Reality Bites, Really?, Say What?, Shutuppery, Social Media, Stay Classy, Stupid Celebrities, Twitter, Uncategorized, wait what? | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

#ThrowBackThursday: Thanksgiving Day Edition

1985 was a wonderful year..

  • The band Ah-Ha brought us one of the coolest videos of all time for the song “Take On Me’.
  • Director John Hughes gave us a movie that truly defined a generation with “The Breakfast Club”.
  • Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls wins Rookie of the Year and proves to the world that you can “fly like and eagle”.
  • The most awesome NBA Championship series takes place between the Lakers and Celtics (The Lakers winning of course!)

Something else occurred in 1985…

Our 40th President, Ronald Reagan, was inaugurated for a second time.  Why is this important today?  Thanksgiving day of all days?  My answer to you is quite simple…

President Reagan gave a Thanksgiving Day address that encompasses who were are, and who we should be as a nation


This address will always stand the test of time if we hold true to ourselves and our beliefs.  Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

-Liberty Speaks

Posted in Events, History, Liberty Speaks, Uncategorized