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REUTERS HULK: OR WHY CAPS ARE OKAY

UPDATE: I just tried to go through the appeal process again, to see what else I could glean (which I should have done before I wrote the post). There was a step I missed. I just received this auto-response from Twitter: 

"Hello, This account was suspended for sending multiple unsolicited messages using the @reply and/or mention feature. These features are intended to make communication between people on Twitter easier. Twitter monitors the use of these features to make sure they are used as intended and not for abuse. Using either feature to post messages to a bunch of users in an unsolicited or egregious manner is considered an abuse of its use, which results in account suspension. As this appears to be a repeat violation, this account will not be restored. Thanks, Twitter Trust & Safety" 
I am still frustrated because I was not using the @ feature any more than usual Twitter behavior, but at least we know now Twitter’s side of it. 
  

@ReutersHulk, thenow-defunct parody Twitter account that imagined Hulk as an earnest and hard-working reporter, defended the use of tweeting direct quotations from the wire. 

The use of copy/pasting from the wire was criticized in part because the wire news first comes through in ALL CAPS, which some people find annoying (they think caps always denote “yelling”).

But as Reuters’ Social Media Editor and Twitter King Anthony De Rosa found, most readers didn’t seem to have a problem with it. They just want accurate information, quickly. 

As I mentioned in an anonymous interview with Roll Calls’ Heard on the Hill, I support using the fastest way to get people information. If that means tweeting in caps, so be it. 

I ALSO SUPPORT USING CAPS CUZ THEY’RE OMGZZ FUN.

Twitter has a suspension process that lacks transparency and appeal, so poor Reuters Hulk had an untimely end. Rebecca Greenfield at Atlantic Wire tried to track down the scent on the case: both Reuters and Marvel claim they did not report the account. From what I hear, Reuters staff were charmed by my experiment — and I’m so glad they got the friendly joke.

More problematically, Twitter’s policy is to never say why they suspend any account. Unless Twitter wants to be transparent about it, the cause for suspension will never be revealed. Quite a few reporters have urged me to fight Twitter, but I think the account survives as a testament to the limits of using any social network. No one should be under the impression they own their social accounts. 

So, you ask, what’s more interesting to me personally? I hope the experiment brought to light the changing nature of language. Twitter is a hot-bed of creative expression. If you want to know how to use Twitter: just share information with your audience they way they want it, and have a sense of humor. That’s it. 

SMASHLY,

@margafret AKA REUTERS HULK