Retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu launched Twitter account on Thursday that was suspended hours later during the social media forum’s spam cleanup.
According to an AFP report:
“Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu had his Twitter account briefly suspended Thursday for ‘aggressively following’ other users, just hours after it was launched.
“The ex-archbishop’s @TutuLegacy account racked up hundreds of followers in its first hours of use, before it was blacklisted.
“‘Twitter says it’s “sorry for the inconvenience over our suspension.” We got caught up in a spam clean up. Glad it wasn’t something we said,’ Tutu tweeted soon after he was unblocked.
“His foundation had earlier expressed dismay at the decision.”
Challenging Twitter’s explanation
According to the Guardian:
“Earlier, Tutu, who officially retired from public life in 2010, had been widely welcomed to Twitter. His first tweet read: ‘In an ode to the words spoken by Mandela when he retired from public life: “I am elderly and decrepit. Don’t tweet me; I’ll tweet you! DT.”‘
“Another read: ‘Some have described Twitter as a blessing in the hands of retired members of the clergy. There is no space to ramble. DT.’ But then came the sudden blockage, prompting the foundation to express dismay at heavy-handed action by the Silicon Valley giant.
“It said: ‘Twitter has not explained how following 30 people could be construed as “aggressive following” or whether the number of people who followed @TutuLegacy in a short space of time was to blame.’
“The brief snub to Tutu came just days after his fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela received a written warning that his electricity and water might be cut off over an unpaid bill. It transpired that the notice had been sent to the wrong address.
“Meanwhile Tutu’s home in Cape Town was burgled early Wednesday morning while he and his wife were asleep. The couple were not harmed.
“Tutu’s spokesman, Roger Friedman, said a remote control device for the house gate was stolen in the incident. Tutu got up to check after the house alarm triggered, noticed nothing unusual and went back to bed. Later he realized there had been a burglary.
“Police say they are investigating the home burglary in Cape Town’s Milnerton suburb in which small household items were stolen. No arrests have been made.”