UPDATED: I had a very friendly chat with the Jordan Times Editor in Chief (who was totally unhappy about what happened with me on Twitter). Obviously, The Jordan Times does not condone the blocking of users from their service nor the style of the communication that was used by the person working on their Twitter channel, who clearly has gone beyond the mandate of posting the Jordan’s Times stories on Twitter. Before my chat with the Jordan Times’ management, I also received an apology from the person handling the Twitter account and I was also unblocked.
Get this! I got into a normal argument with whoever is handling the Jordan Times’ Twiiter account and I got blocked from following their service!
This is what happened. A few days ago, on September 23rd, I was looking at the latest tweets from the Jordan Times. I saw a tweet asking Jordanians not to allow “foreign Journalists” to “ruin” Jordan reputation. The instruction in that tweet was that, we, Jordanians, should always emphasize how safe Jordan is.
I found it strange that the Jordan Times is sending out such generalized instructions (as if talking to a herd of sheep). Its not their job to tell me or anyone else how to “protect” the country’s reputation.
So I replied to that tweet writing something like “with all respect, a paper’s job is to be informative and critical” and that flag-waving instructions about how to deal with foreign journalists is not needed.
Almost immediately, the JT sent an ALL CAPS tweet (which is considered shouting on the net) saying “JORDANIANS AND WE ARE PROUD OF OUR JORDAN, AS BUSINESS AS NEWSPAPER AND AS PATRIOTIC”.
Not to mention that this shouting was not even written in proper English, I replied to the JT saying “Why the ALL CAPS shouting? Generalizations and warnings of foreign journalist trying to ruin our reputation is not patriotism.”
Today, I noticed that I have not been seeing JT’s tweets for some days. At first I thought this was some Twitter glitch, but after trying to follow the JT again, I got a clear message that I was blocked from their service!
This is outrageous and totally unacceptable!
What I know is that the JT’s Twitter account is being handled by a company specialized in social media. But it seems that the person handling this is someone who doesn’t get the “social” bit. This wasn’t the first time I’ve seen capital letters, grammatical mistakes and and an angry attitude on the JT’s Twitter account.
It is worth mentioning that the JT has over 23,000 followers on Twitter. The company doing this for them is obviously very aggressive and active. But besides posting links to the JT’s articles, the JT often tweets things which by no means belong on a serious national newspaper’s Twitter account (such as general warning about foreign journalists!)
Needless to say, the Jordan Times will be hearing from me on what happened. As a newspaper they should be up to their responsibility of protecting freedom of speech and debate, whether on paper, on the web, or on Twitter.
I might add that I am a paying subscriber to their paper version. Blocking a subscriber’s access to one of their online services because of a comment is a very serious mistake.
Read these related posts on 360east:
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- Looking back at Skype’s blocking/unblocking: a Jordanian communication problem?
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