Twitter's Policy Changes Hurting This Russian's Bots

For historical reasons, this blog has three Twitter feeds -- @VolokhC (the main one) plus @VolokhConspirac and @VolokhCom -- but it looks like I'll have two close the latter two.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

As I understand it, Twitter is changing its policy to bar users from automatically posting to multiple accounts, apparently to cut down on malicious or fraudulent bots. Unfortunately for us, when I set up the blog's Twitter feeds, I inadvertently set up and somehow promoted @VolokhCom and @VolokhConspirac as well as @VolokhC. (I forget exactly how the mixup happened, but it did.) Though the great majority of our readers are at @VolokhC, we have 6,700 put together on the other two accounts.

That used to be fine, because I just had the dlvr.it service automatically Tweet about all our posts to all three accounts, so there was no extra hassle for our readers (or for me). But now that won't be alllowed—and Twitter apparently doesn't let you merge two accounts, so by the end of this coming week, all our @VolokhCom and @VolokhConspirac subscribers will have to subscribe to @VolokhC if they want to keep getting our posts. (I'll also announce that through specific Tweets to those accounts.)

I'll also have to find some other way of handling our specialized free-speech-post-only and gun-post-only @VolokhSpeech and @VolokhGuns accounts. I think I should be able to Retweet some posts to those accounts, but I will no longer be able to do this automatically.

In any case, that's the situation, unless someone gives me a better idea.

If you'd rather get posts in other ways, here are two options:

  1. To get the Volokh Daily e-mail, go to https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=volokh/mainfeed, enter your e-mail address, and then click on the link in the verification e-mail that you get.
  2. To get each post in your Outlook mailbox as it appears (my favorite way for following most of my favorite blogs):
    • In Outlook 2007, go to Tools / Account Settings / RSS Feeds; in Office 365, go to File / Account Settings / Account Settings / RSS Feeds.
    • Then, in either version, click on New, enter the RSS address (for us, it's http://feeds.feedburner.com/volokh/mainfeed), click on Change Folder when that option comes up, and set the target folder to be the Inbox.

NEXT: Florida May Be About to Launch the Most Ambitious Criminal Justice Transparency Project in the U.S.

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  1. You could get the fuck off Twitter before the Orwellians there ban you.

    Which they will. Eventually.

    1. Disaffected, paranoid, tough-talk wingnuts are among my favorite wingnuts.

      Why don’t right-wingers create a conservative-friendly platform that resembles Twitter? It could be like the American Civil Rights Union, or whatever wingnuts call their version of the AARP, or even better the Foundation For Individual Rights In Education — criticize liberals endlessly while issuing a pass to right-wing sources of censorship and nonsense.

      1. I’m not sure what you mean by giving a pass. They have a separate category for institutions which “clearly and consistently state() that (they) hold() a certain set of values above a commitment to freedom of speech” – and here are the institutions with that particular “Warning” rating:

        Baylor University

        Brigham Young University

        California Institute of Integral Studies

        Gonzaga University

        Pepperdine University

        Saint Louis University

        United States Military Academy

        United States Naval Academy

        Vassar College

        Yeshiva University

        1. Here is FIRE “giving a pass” to Liberty University

          “Liberty University’s Values and Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Pro-Free Speech Statements Don’t Add Up…

          “Although Liberty is not currently included in FIRE’s Spotlight database (which rates only the top 100 private institutions, in addition to many public universities), it would be classified as a “warning” school if it were included….

          “However, that’s not exactly the end of the story. Just last week, Falwell Jr., who openly supports Trump’s candidacy, offered this response to a petition from Liberty students asking him to revoke his endorsement of Trump:

          “‘I am proud of these few students for speaking their minds. It is a testament to the fact that Liberty University promotes the free expression of ideas unlike many major universities where political correctness prevents conservative students from speaking out.’

          “If Jerry Falwell Jr. is sincere in stating that Liberty values freedom of expression, then this is a perfect opportunity for him to prove it by reversing his censorship of the Liberty Champion (student paper)….(But) he cannot cloak himself in the mantle of freedom of speech while demanding censorship power over student press.”

        2. He means that they don’t sue them like they do public universities. Of course, AK ignores the fact that there is no basis to sue them because private universities are not bound by the first amendment the way public universities are.

          1. If the private institution has a significant gap between the academic freedom they promise and what they actually deliver, then sometimes they can get sued.

            But if the denial of academic freedom is in the fine print only, while the institution makes a big show of liking academic freedom, then FIRE can be something like an academic Consumer Reports by publicizing the contrast.

            But if the institution’s restrictions aren’t merely in the fine print but are highlighted front and center for potential students, then there’s no need for a consumer alert other than “yes, they mean what they say about the restrictions they impose.”

            1. FIRE’s view of “rights” tends to depends upon whether the school is a right-wing nonsense factory or, instead, a strong, liberal-libertarian school. FIRE does not object to censorship, loyalty oaths, conduct codes, suppression of academic freedom, the teaching of nonsense, viewpoint-based discrimination, and the like on right-wing campuses. This appears to be calculated to flatter right-wing donors.

              1. “FIRE’s view of “rights” tends to depends upon whether the school is a right-wing nonsense factory or, instead, a strong, liberal-libertarian school.”

                Bull, it focuses on public vs private institutions, as is should, since rights are only truly enforceable against public universities.

                They don’t focus on liberal private universities like Harvard any more than they do on “right-wing” universities.

                For your point to be anything other than irrational nonsense, you would have to be able to point to a public “right-wing” university to whom FIRE has given a pass.

      2. But, Art, aren’t the Progressives the “protectors” of Free Speech?

        Don’t conservatives WANT to stifle free speech?

        I’ve heard this from progs like you for decades…

        1. In general, yes.

          Just check what happens on a campus when conservatives get control.

          First, academic freedom, science, free expression, and the reality-based world are excluded from campus.

          Second, the school struggles for sketchy accreditation but lands firmly in the third or fourth tier of rankings (unless it is in the “unranked” cesspool).

          Third, FIRE issues a pass, looking for a better school to criticize and right-wing donors to stroke.

          Carry on, clingers.

          1. Just check what happens on a campus when conservatives get control.

            They might sit back and allow students from the side they agree with to attack students on the other side.

            They might put onerous restrictions on speech they do not agree with.

            They might sit back and allow violent outbursts because of political disagreements.

            Terrifying stuff. Truly.

            First, academic freedom, science, free expression, and the reality-based world are excluded from campus.

            Have you seen what constitutes scholarship in most colleges nowadays? How historical texts must be censored to avoid offending snowflakes?

            1. I understand what constitutes scholarship on liberal-libertarian campuses (Berkeley, NYU, Columbia, Wellesley, Williams, Yale, Amherst, Reed, Princeton, Sarah Lawrence, Swarthmore, Smith, and the like). These are among our strongest educational institutions.

              I also understand what constitutes scholarship on conservative campuses (Wheatson, Hillsdale, Regent, Ozarks, Liberty, Grove City, Biola, Ave Maria, Ouachita Baptist, Dallas, Houston Baptist, Patrick Henry, King’s College, and the like). These are censorship-shackled, nonsense-teaching, low-rank goober factories.

              I therefore understand why conservatives get so cranky and whimpery about the issue of American educational institutions.

              1. Heckler’s veto at UC Berkeley

                “Protests that erupted at UC Berkeley ahead of a planned Wednesday appearance by right-wing commentator Milo Yiannopoulos caused $100,000 worth of damage to the campus, the school said Thursday….

                “Administrators decided to cancel the Wednesday event about two hours before the Breitbart editor’s speech. UC Berkeley said it removed him from campus “amid the violence and destruction of property and out of concern for public safety.””

                The accrediting standards applicable to UC Berkeley include this – “The institution publicly states its commitment to academic freedom for faculty, staff, and students, and acts accordingly.”

                  1. Eidde, I hope you didn’t mean to to directly conflate Bernie Sanders with Milo Yiannopoulus. I disagree with both, but understand their qualitative difference

                    1. Whatever differences exist don’t justify rioting and a heckler’s veto.

                    2. The most instructive point of the Milo invitations is that our fledgling right-wingers believe it is a good idea to invest in bringing Milo-class flaming shitstorms to campus.

                      They’re not trying to persuade anyone, likely because they recognize conservative aspirations are doomed in America, especially in reasoned and educated circles.

                      So these goobers-in-training settle for throwing a few mindless incendiaries and chortling at the fireworks, provoking a response while alienating most observers.

                    3. Of course the conservatives at Berkeley should have invited someone more respectable.

                      But they weren’t the ones tearing up the campus when Milo arrived – violent leftists deserve the credit for that.

                      And it was the Berkeley administration, not some conservative administration, which allowed a heckler’s veto, despite the accreditation standards requiring that the university protect academic freedom of students and faculty, including their right to hear controversial speakers despite the wishes of left-wing thugs.

                      And somehow, the students at Liberty University managed to listen to a socialist without rioting.

                    4. Hey Rev,

                      Are you like the NAACP? Only support Progressive POC, GLBT, et.al.?
                      N ational
                      A ssociation for the
                      A dvancement of
                      C olored
                      P rogressives

    2. Or at least post on Gab as well. Libertarians and conservatives are welcome there.

  2. #TwitterSucks #AndHashtagsAreSoAnnoying #WhenWillTwitter’s15MinutesofFameBeUp?

    1. #OnlyTwitsTweet.

  3. A friendly reminder… you don’t want your employer reading your comments, don’t subscribe to the rss feed with your work email. Only an idiot would do that.

    1. So you didn’t use your Disney email for your posts, Mighty Mouse?

      1. Wait, Disney is Mickey Mouse, not Mighty, 1000 pardons.

      2. Heeeaarrrrrr he comes to save the Daaaaayyyyy!

  4. In the present political climate, it’s surprising that any twitter accounts bearing Russian surnames, or the words “speech,” “guns,” or “conspiracy” are allowed at all. And accounts that combine those names are just asking for trouble.

    1. Isn’t it the ones with fake non-Russian names that are the problem?

  5. Fortunately for me, I already followed on of the bots that will continue to exist. Also, I stop by here regularly.

    But thanks for the heads up. Had I been following one of the bots Twitter is planning to kill, I would have wanted to make sure I followed one of the bots that will remain active.

  6. Well, someone’s gotta say it:

    I like big bots and I cannot lie

    1. Ouch!!!

  7. Twitter delenda est.

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