Social media giant Twitter has banned a Belgian Elite Dangerous player for tweeting a poem in reply to a tweet from the official game's account. Tim Wellens, the now-suspended Twitter user, has yet to regain access to his account at the time of writing, despite multiple appeals.
On Oct. 4, the official Elite Dangerous Twitter account posted a poem in celebration of National Poetry Day. The tweet reads as follows:
As a response, Wellens wrote the following poem:
"Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Thargoid or foe,
I will come to kill you o7"
In Elite Dangerous, the Thargoids are an alien race that is at odds with humanity. Twitter caught onto the threatening language that Wellens used — despite directing it at a fictional group — and suspended his account. According to Eurogamer, in an email to Wellens, Twitter support explained that they took action because he violated their "rules against posting violent threats."
He has since appealed the decision, pointing out that he "never ever threatened a real person or organization on Twitter."
"Thargoid or foe, I'm coming to kill you, was directed to the thargoids and enemies in the game," he told Eurogamer.
His appeal was met with a computer-generated email, and Wellens followed up by re-appealing his case. As of Oct. 8, his account remains out of his hands.
"What hurts me the most, however, is the fact that I feel I'm judged by a computer, and I have no means to defend myself," Wellens said to Eurogamer. "It's like fighting an A.I. I understand they have to use software to root out ugly tweets, but I was hoping a human being would do the investigation. It would have only taken them five seconds to see that my tweet was completely harmless — and I have seen much more violent tweets than mine."
How do you feel about Twitter's treatment of Tim Wellens over a seemingly innocent tweet? Let us know in the comments below!