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Ask HN: Twitter perma-banned my popular bot for a false reason
77 points by bitmexrekt 29 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 28 comments
I run the bot @BitmexRekt that posts liquidations (when traders lose everything) on the Bitmex exchange.

It's mildly popular on Twitter with 45k+ followers, and even got mentioned on Nouriel vs Arthur Hayes debate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlZukhN_C6c (~2:50 minute mark).

Yesterday the bot was permabanned by Twitter, and Twitter is accusing me of "impersonation" which is obvious to anyone that has seen the profile that it is clearly not impersonating anyone. However Twitter is sticking to their guns and insists that the bot, which has been running for more than 3 years, is an impersonator.

Is there no way of getting a real person from Twitter to review this?

I wrote a bit more in detail here: https://github.com/LittleLightLittleFire/REKT/issues/7




None of these companies are remotely accountable or fair in their process. None of their rules are democratically decided, there is zero oversight, zero recourse.

Imagine a world where they run stuff. Imagine a world where these companies are in charge of things like currency or things necessary to live.

Legislation needs to recognise the power and responsibility companies like this have, and mandate that those with sufficiently high traction or gravity provide a transparent appeals and dispute process.


> None of these companies are remotely accountable or fair in their process. None of their rules are democratically decided, there is zero oversight, zero recourse.

I'm pretty sure the people who "run stuff" today are not any more accountable. They're elected sure, but considering that re-election percentage for US Congress is in the 90s and Senate is in the 80s [0]. Local elections are also generally in the 90s [1] and its worth noting that many people who "run stuff" are appointed unelected administration officials (e.g. Federal Reserve, Supreme Court).

[0] https://www.opensecrets.org/overview/reelect.php

[1] https://ballotpedia.org/2018_election_analysis:_Incumbent_wi...


Welcome to Twitter, where the rules are arbitrary and the legal recourse nonexistent. All you can do is raise a stink and hope Twitter's PR department notices.


And this is an extremely minor example of corporate totalitarianism. There have been people who have lost their businesses because payment processors like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal didn't like what they were doing despite operating fully within the law.

It's strange to me how there are still so many people arguing that these are private companies and they have the freedom to destroy someones life if they don't like the business they run or their political views.


I mean, they are private companies and thus free to choose who they do business with, as long as it's not discrimination against very specific categories of individuals defined in law.

If something needs to be a public utility, then vote for political parties that are willing to expand the public sector. Saddling private companies with semi-public duties tends to create the worst of both worlds where profits are private but losses are public.


Sounds fair on paper, but when a corporation reaches such monopolistic heights like Google, they can simply wipe you from existence, but making them utilities doesn't make sense at all.

There needs to be some level of complaints and appeals - and this needs to be mandatory via regulation. Unfortunately, not politically viable.


> And this is an extremely minor example of corporate totalitarianism

Not being allowed on a private platform is not an example of totalitarianism. Not even an extremely minor one. I think its offensive comparing not being allowed on a platform to actual totalitarianism.

Twitter wasn't around before 2006. Most powerful tech companies are similarly new products. I think it's naive to assume that they're going to exist in perpetuity and somehow displace democracy with a corporate totalitarianism. Twitter will eventually fade into obscurity and irrelevance replaced by other services that draw our attention.


Could Twitter think you're impersonating Bitmex? You're using their name, you're reporting events that happen on there, you're (presumably) not officially commenting on activity that happens on their exchange.

It could be argued that the reason for the ban is not false. Maybe it originated from a complaint from Bitmex...


I emailed bitmex support and they said it is possible may have been accidentally triggered by them. However they did say they have no issue with the account and that "If you have any issues getting the account re-enabled and think we can assist further please let us know."

I don't really fault them because ultimately Twitter is the one at fault here, being the judge, jury and executioner.


I emailed bitmex support and they said it is possible may have been accidentally triggered by them. However they did say they have no issue with the account and that "If you have any issues getting the account re-enabled and think we can assist further please let us know."

So Twitter may have shut down your account because Bitmex asked them to.

I don't really fault them because ultimately Twitter is the one at fault here, being the judge, jury and executioner.

Depending on what's actually happened it could be the case that Twitter are legally required to act. I don't think it's entirely fair to blame them until you know more about what's going on.


Well there's thing. Even if Bitmex complained, Twitter has no justification to shutdown the account. Because it complies with all of their policies (and clearly states its not affiliated with anyone) [1].

Now, suppose it actually was Bitmex that requested the accidental take down, it still doesn't help me in anyway since I have no way to contact Twitter. Bitmex has a customer support that responds to emails and my experiences with Bitmex has been quite jovial since the start. In fact, Ben (one of the co-founders of Bitmex) has commented/reviewed some earlier versions of bitmexrekt code many years ago when I had some questions about the API.

Ultimately, the only way to get any support from Twitter is to make big scene on social media, and I really don't want to do this.

[1]. https://i.imgur.com/dxsdPHI.png


> Ultimately, the only way to get any support from Twitter is to make big scene on social media, and I really don't want to do this.

Then I'd suggest you look for something new to do, because nothing except that will raise their attention to a level where they might investigate.


Well I guess we start over.

https://twitter.com/bxrekt


Damn, that sucks. You are a hero to many.

Twitter 'enforcement' can be completely arbitrarily if you have been following some of the news stories in the past months. Maybe you can make a new one that doesn't use a trademarked name and see if it sticks.


PS Given how popular you are, maybe you don't even need Twitter. Just put up your own site with a simple feed, the word will spread quickly.


I really hope to get it sorted with Twitter. Unfortunately getting support from them is ridiculously hard.


Try setting up an account in the fediverse, create a new twitter account to spread the word + a landing page. I guess a number of people here will help you spread the news via both twitter and the fediverse.

This can help both to speed up twitters response to you (if they get scared about their actions fueling the growth of the fediverse) as well as triggering a number of peoples to create accounts in the fediverse ;-)


> Twitter is accusing me of "impersonation"

"@BitmexRekt" probably looks like "@BitmexAsdf" to someone who can't parse "Rekt".

Seems problematic for two reasons:

1. If a Twitter rep doesn't get the alias, they may think it's an attempt at impersonation.

2. Even if a Twitter rep does get the alias, they may have some reasonable concern that third parties might misinterpret your alias as representing Bitmex.

I mean, I can see someone who doesn't know what Bitmex is, nor the term "rekt", thinking that "BitmexRekt" is just like a fuller name for Bitmex, or something like that.


Sure, I can see how if somebody just looks at the name, and ignores all other context, including Twitter's own policies, and deliberately interprets it in a brain-dead manner can come to the conclusion that a bot is impersonating Bitmex.

Hopefully they won't think @BXRekt is too close to Bitmex.


Science Fiction is full of the horrors of arbitrary / poorly reasoned decisions made by computers, AI run amok.

But sadly were humans are all too happy to do it to each other.


For those looking for the bot I've decided to just to move bitmexrekt to https://twitter.com/bxrekt


Twitter has never gotten back to me and I've given up trying to get support from them.


Maybe Arthur Hayes made the claim for revealing too much about the truth of using their platform

Word of your demise quickly spread in my groups earlier today


Mastodon.


Negligible userbase compared to Twitter. Suggestion doesn't solve the stated problem in a way that solves it, instead advocates adviser's hobbyhorse.


It's very sad to see someone I highly respect say this. You're a champion calling out the bullshit in cryptocurrency, shame you can't do the same with large broken companies that literally hire psychologists to fuck with peoples minds and make them use the site more.

Not enough reach isn't an argument, Mastadon works fine, twitter is incredibly broken and evil, it encourages hottakes and bullshit.


Why doesn’t it solve it? The guy has an audience. He just needs a URL people can find him on. I guess a lot of people wouldn’t have the grit and determination required to read something that isn’t spoon fed via Twitter, so he might lose a few “followers”.

But I wonder if a twitter follower is like 0.02 email subscribers in terms of attention span and deliverability. Who reads every tweet in their feed?


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