Eric Lang, famous game designer suspended from Twitter

I read yesterday that Twitter kicked Eric Lang, a famous board game designer, off its platform. He broke the social network’s Terms of Service (ToS). What did he do to run afoul of Twitter’s ToS? It’s a… mystery.

When Twitter gives you the final heave-ho, they don’t tell you what you did to earn the man hammer. Reportedly, they don’t even give you the common decency of telling you are dead to them. You don’t know anything is wrong between you and Twitter until you try to log in and can’t. Another way of finding out Twitter has broken up with you is to go to your Twitter profile.

For example, when you go to Eric Lang’s profile, this is what you see:

Eric Lang, famous game designer suspended from Twitter

When in doubt, blame Jeremy Hambly

Eric Lang decided to respond to his Twitter suspension by blaming YouTube outrage merchant Jeremy Hambly.

Eric Lang, famous game designer suspended from Twitter
Jeremy Hambly and his disappearing hairline. When my hair began to do this, I started shaving my head. I never looked back.

Kotoku published an article about the suspension and all but named Hambly because Lang was no longer on Twitter. Evidently, Hambly is so evil, none of the cool kids will even say his name. He’s like Lord Voldemort, except he has a filthy, unkempt beard and is a certified doofus.

Did Hambly hack into Lang’s Twitter account and misgender someone? No. Lang contends Hambly secretly ordered an army of trolls to mass report him to Twitter. That’s what Lang believes.

From the Kotoku article, quoting Lang’s Facebook page:

Of course I have opinions about why, and I’ve seen enough abusive reporting in the past to recognize the pattern. Can it be proven? Nope. Does it matter? I don’t think so. This is not about trolls, really. It’s not about scumbag serial harassers, it’s about an easily exploitable system that encourages abusive behaviour by omission of vigilant oversight.

This sounds incredibly weak. It doesn’t matter how many reports Twitter receives. Unless they’re valid, Twitter will not do anything.

I think Eric Lang knows why Twitter suspended his account

it’s obvious from reading Lang’s Facebook post why Twitter kicked him off their platform:

I used a chain blocker app (the same one that several people I know have used without issue), because there were a lot of followers to block, and I made a tactical error: I tweeted about the blocking action in advance to give my followers time to unfollow if they didn’t want to be blocked.

It was a mistake to tweet that he would use a blocker app against anyone who follows Jeremy Hambly. I’m sure Twitter saw it as Lang telling his followers to do the same.

From Twitter’s rules on abusive behavior:

We prohibit behavior that encourages others to harass or target specific individuals or groups with abusive behavior. This includes, but is not limited to; calls to target people with abuse or harassment online and behavior that urges offline action such as physical harassment.

There was absolutely no valid reason to announce he would employ a blocking app against Hambly’s followers. His stated reason was, “I tweeted about the blocking action in advance to give my followers time to unfollow if they didn’t want to be blocked.” It was absurd. You use a blocking app because you do not want anyone who follows a specific account to read or comment on your tweets. Why would he give time to his followers who follow Hambly to unfollow Hambly temporarily? It defeats the purpose of using a blocking app.

I think Eric Lang tweeted what he did because he wanted his followers to block Jeremy Hambly’s followers. It’s the only thing that makes any sense.

I am no fan of Jeremy Hambly

I think Hambly is dishonest. He is an agitator. After he was attacked outside a bar in Indianapolis at the hands of male feminist Matt Loter, I came to this conclusion.

At first, I was in support of Hambly. How could I not? Loter drove his male feminist fist to the back of Hambly’s greasy head. The story changed almost on an hourly basis. Hambly would make a video, state something about the attack, and delete that video and make another that stated something else altogether.

It was annoying.

When someone accuses Jeremy Hambly of doing underhanded or dishonest things, my default inclination is to believe them. I’m the same wat with Jimmy Buffett and Wil Wheaton. In this case, I can’t. Not without evidence. I couldn’t find anything Hambly said about Eric Lang. I couldn’t find evidence Hambly even knew who Lang was before this incident.

Given the known facts, If Eric Lang wants someone to blame for his Twitter suspension, he need only look into a mirror.

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