X/Twitter cracks down on criticism and suspends Irish journalist

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Journalist Séamas O’Reilly has expressed disbelief and amusement after his account on X (formerly Twitter) was suspended shortly after he critiqued the platform in an article for the Irish Examiner. O’Reilly, whose account boasted over 100,000 followers and had been active for around 14 years, suspected the suspension was linked to his comments about the platform’s issues with bots, labeling the platform as “unusable.”

The suspension occurred hours after O’Reilly shared his article criticizing X for its bot problem, suggesting a direct correlation between his critique and the account’s suspension.

O’Reilly viewed the suspension as an ironic act of overreach by X, especially considering the platform’s leadership claims of supporting free speech. He found the situation surreal but not of global significance, yet noteworthy due to the circumstances.

After appealing the suspension, which cited reasons of spam and platform manipulation, O’Reilly awaited a response, highlighting the lack of communication from X’s side.

The journalist reflected on the importance of X for his career, describing it as a “shop front” that helped him transition into journalism and authorship. The suspension, therefore, posed both personal annoyance and professional challenges.

In his article, O’Reilly criticized X for incentivizing negative and hateful speech, a shift that has made the platform less valuable and practical for positive engagement and professional use.

Sources include: The Irish Times

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