We hoped it wouldn't come to this.
We hoped that Twitter would realize that the suspension of our account one week ago was unjustified and inappropriate, or perhaps a simple mistake made by some auto-sorting algorithm. They didn't.
Finally this morning on June 30th, we received a short and cryptic message from the social media giant. The message (pictured below and merely signed "Twitter") falls incredibly short of both justification and explanation of their actions. Additionally, it makes it clear that they will no longer allow us to voice opposition to the decision, and they will no longer listen to our appeals. We will of course continue making appeals, but we have a strong suspicion that they will be ignored and Twitter intends for our account to remain in a state of "permanent suspension."
sus·pen·sion /səˈspen SHən/ - The temporary prevention of something continuing or being in force or effect
What is Suspension?
Because there is no such thing as "permanent" suspension, we are calling this violation of our freedom exactly what it is: A censorship, a silencing, a ban. Twitter may feel that with our mere 8000 followers we are not worth their time or individual attention, so we must let them know in any way we can that this is unacceptable behavior.
Does this corporation feel like it will ruffle fewer feathers by using the word suspension, when permanence is built into its policies? Here's the sequence of events: First, our Twitter account was suddenly suspended on Wednesday of last week (6/23/21) without warning. We were not told what rules or terms we were alleged to have violated. We immediately sent an appeal, to which we received an automated message as a response that simply told us why accounts are usually suspended. We then received no response for nearly 7 days, despite sending multiple messages and more appeals. Finally, when today's response came, we were told curtly that we were guilty of "multiple and repeated" violations of the rules. No specific rule or violation was cited.
What is Splinterlands?
Splinterlands is a game, like countless other games that are allowed to exist and post their content freely on Twitter. The only differences between Splinterlands and most games involve the facts that Splinterlands cards are NFT assets and they have real money value.
Giving Twitter as much benefit of the doubt as we can, our best guess at a reason is Twitter wrongly decided that we are involved with the sale of regulated goods and/or services. Basically, they made the incorrect assumption that we sell a financial product or service, which is regulated by the SEC...
"if your account is dedicated to the sale of illegal or regulated goods and/or services, your account may be suspended permanently."
-from TWITTER RULES
We still believe that this is a misunderstanding on Twitter's part. We are not a financial service company. We are a game. We sell Booster Packs and Starter Packs. All secondary values of cards are determined by the community alone, and we do nothing to manipulate them. We make no claims of future value, and we do not speculate on future prices of certain cards. Any card pricing data that has been shared via Twitter has been carefully presented as historical secondary sales data from third party sites. We have never even used the word "investment" in a single Tweet. We will continue to hold out hope that this issue can and will be resolved, that we'll be tweeting again someday.
The new problem is Twitter doesn't seem to care enough to deal with us. If we had been given a warning or reached by a person in the first place, we could have corrected this misunderstanding then. But now that they have taken both our voice on Twitter and our ability to appeal their one-sided decision, we need your help.
How You can Help
You can help us by sharing our articles and our news. You can help us by tweeting and commenting, using the hashtag #freesplinterlands. You may see more everyone tags than usual in the Discord community in the coming weeks, and we hope that you will pay attention, sharing the things that need sharing and repeating the messages we need to spread.
The crypto community is still small. Within that community, the world of NFTs is even smaller. And within that community (smaller still) is the little world of blockchain gaming and playing-to-earn, in which you are all still early adopters. In moments like these, Twitter is demonstrating the absurd degree of power they hold over our voices and our projects.
If they can do this to Splinterlands, one of the most trusted and well-established NFT projects in the world, they can do it to any crypto project they choose, and for any reason. We can live without Twitter, but we hope that the rest of the crypto community understands and shares our concern.
Twitter NFTs: No Friggin' Tact
To make this escalation even worse, Twitter announced on the very same day to nearly 60 million worldwide followers that they are releasing NFTs of their own.
This bothers us, and hopefully it bothers you too. With one hand, Twitter is auto-suspending the accounts of some of the most successful and well-established NFT projects in the industry, and with the other hand they are launching their own NFTs. The disconnect that this implies between the company's action and attention is astounding and tactless.
Don't worry. As we've said before, Splinterlands is stronger than ever and always growing. We're breaking records, dropping updates and constantly adding value to your gaming experience. We want our community to be loud about this not because we are desperate, but because we are concerned. Let's not let these giants push us around, and let's show them that it's not the number of followers, but the quality of the following that really matters.
Thank you all for your continued support!
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