TR Member Perks!

Daniel Nazer, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation who mostly focuses on patent issues, had his twitter account shut down last week after posting a “harassing” tweet.

The issue concerns a discussion between Nazer and Jon Palma, the head of Ares Rights. Ares Rights is a Spanish firm which is notorious for sending out bogus DMCA claims on behalf of the Ecuadorian government, in order to censor content critical of the government. This behavior has been covered by the EFF and others. Nazer even used his personal Twitter account to criticize Ares Rights over its “copyfraud.”

It seems that Palma misunderstood Nazer’s tweet, possibly because English is not his native language, and he thought the tweet was in favor of Ares Rights. Palma sent Nazer an email asking for advice on gaining new customers. Nazer sent back a reply telling him to do something better with his life. Nazer decided to share this amusing email conversation on Twitter, and posted a tweet containing a screenshot of the email conversation. This is what ultimately lead to Nazer’s account being suspended.

Nazer was able to reactivate his account after he agreed to delete the tweet, but it raises the question of why the tweet was even considered “harassing” by Twitter. Twitter is notorious in not giving any clear explanation as to why specific tweets are in violation of its rules. The theory presented on Techdirt is that the tweet violated Twitter’s rules on posting private information, because the image in the tweet showed Palma’s personal email address. Since Twitter has a policy of not publicly commenting on specific instances of rules violations, this is probably all the explanation we will ever get. Nazer has since posted another screenshot of the email conversation, but the address is not visible, and so far it hasn’t caught Twitter’s ire.

Is Twitter right to consider posting private email addresses as harassing? Leave your comments below.


Max Michael

Senior Writer

I’m a technology reporter located near the Innovation District of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.



  • Azure

    Might as well define breathing in general as harassment at this point with twitter.

  • How many people are calling for people to abandon Twitter? It’s like we need every tweet to have a big rotating light and a link to a Youtube video of a blaring siren and another to an alert commanding “ABANDON SHIP!

  • Ms_Fortune

    Twitter is tanking and they just keep doubling down on the retarded narrative.

  • BurntToShreds

    From the Techdirt article, it says that Twitter claims that they “may consider the context and nature of the information posted”, but it sure as hell doesn’t seem like it.

  • Max

    Well the word “may” in there makes it seem like its optional. So you know, if they feel like it, they may consider context and the nature of the information posted.

  • njdss4

    Twitter blatantly uses its policies to silence those they disagree with, while letting people they do agree with get away with racism, sexism, and even death threats. I wish there was another site I could use instead of Twitter, but I’m still there because of the people who I want to follow that won’t leave.

    Heck, it’s the same situation with Reddit. I use that site as little as possible, and it’d be zero if the communities that don’t exist anywhere else would pack up and go to a better site.

  • SevTheBear

    ah… fuck Twitter

  • Bitterbear

    It IS harassment, breathing air generates CO2 which is a greenhouse gas that causes Global Warming.

  • Tell all your Plebbit “friends” to move over to Voat.co. There’s no thought policing there.

  • Chris Anderson

    Yet.

  • And if enough “anti-thought police” types set up shop there, it’ll be harder for the thought policing types to get into the site.

    Hence why we should move now and leave Plebbit to rot.

  • Nevflinn

    I don’t see the controversy here. Isn’t it natural that posting someone else’s private information on twitter shouldn’t be encouraged?

  • whatever

    The irony is that Nazer went after a tweet Vivek Wadha made to the WNYC about their hit job on him, calling their hit job “libelous and slanderous”. Nazer condemned that tweet (along with Popehat) saying that tweet itself constituted an implicit legal threat.

    https://twitter.com/danielnazer/status/567088248048996352

  • froyton

    I agree. I don’t think “harassment” is the right way to describe it, but it’s definitely a no-no.

  • Infensus

    I still distinctly recall reporting a tweet recommending that gamergaters should drink bleach as harassing, twitter got back to me (months later) saying they couldn’t find how the tweet could be considered harassment. Silly ol twitter.