Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Name dispute is mainly with Twitter

    Being that the Mountain Express has determined that my conflict with Twitter and Sun Valley is newsworthy, I wanted to comment on the story published on May 17.  
    I registered @SunValley several years ago with the intention of tweeting about various activities in the valley.  I tweeted about a “Pig Roast at Apples,” “the last day of the ski season and the Scorpion Challenge,” along with some personal nonsense: “anyone know how to get @Jamie to return your call.”  Without any notice, one morning, I got an email saying that @SunValley was taken from me because: “We have received a valid report and determined that your account, @sunvalley, is engaged in non-parody impersonation. Although Twitter firmly believes in the freedom of expression, impersonation that misleads, confuses, or deceives others is against our rules. Your account has been temporarily suspended due to violation of our impersonation policy.”
    I have read all of Twitter’s policies on this subject. I have never done anything that is remotely a form of impersonation. I have sent dozens of emails to Twitter asking for clarification, asking for a phone call, asking to speak to someone, all without reply.  In desperation, I drafted a 17-page document containing many “8x10 colored glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.” The document cites several citations of Twitter’s own policies and procedures, which Twitter clearly failed to follow.  Both email and snail mail were ignored. Twitter has been aloof and arrogant, and unfortunately the only way to get their attention was to file a formal complaint. I want to clearly state that my dispute is primarily with Twitter and not Sun Valley Co.
    As residents of Blaine County, my wife and myself are greatly appreciative of what Sun Valley Co. does for the community. Historically, we have been very supportive of Sun Valley Co., along with supporting all local merchants, and despite what happens in this dispute we plan to continue our support of the Sun Valley Co.
    In our complaint, it is our request that @SunValley be returned to us so that we may continuing using it as we choose.  It is our long-term goal to ultimately determine a way to use @SunValley in a manner that benefits the entire Sun Valley community, which would include, but not be limited to, Sun Valley Co.
Lenny Barshack & Erin Smith, aka  @LennyBarshackForNow

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