Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What I'm Really Saying About EPPD & Twitter

The problem with communication in any form is that it at least partially relies on another party's ability to comprehend.

Apparently David K at Refuse the Truth has a bad problem with comprehension.

Just kidding, he doesn't. He's a smart guy, he's just deliberately lying to you about me (because about 90% of what he writes these days is about me) and what my point is about the El Paso Police Department and Twitter.

So let me break this issue down to Barney-level in case I wasn't clear (I was) in my last post. My issue with the El Paso Police Department is the fact that the people who are managing the account have apparently been pretty arbitrary in how they manage who does and does not get blocked from their account. Once I saw that there has been a rash of people who have been getting blocked from the Twitter account, for basically no reason I might add, I wanted to know why.

Frankly, we should all want to know why. Especially considering the City of El Paso has a really bad problem with transparency.

And David Karlsruher at Refuse the Truth apparently has a problem with the truth as well. For example, in his latest piece about me he makes this statement:

Abeytia claims he has a right to post questions on the police department's feed - a first amendment right! He does not.  You have no first amendment rights when it comes to Twitter the company who owns the application nor the users who have Twitter accounts.

Uh...No I didn't.

At first I thought David was just stupid and for some reason misunderstood my questions about what policies governed the selective blocking of Twitter followers on the Department's account with an argument about first amendment rights. But then I realized that he knew exactly what my complaint was and is just doing what he usually does...lies.

This isn't about the first amendment. This is about transparency.

Here's the difference. I have a first amendment right to say David Karlsruher is a fucking idiot. I'm not arguing that PD's Twitter manager is somehow impeding my right first amendment rights by blocking me from Twitter. That's ridiculous.

What I am asking questions about is the fact that the PD Twitter page is an extension of a publicly-funded department of the City of El Paso and as such, I wanted to know what their policy was on blocking twitter users was, what is the threshold, who manages the account, and who makes the call of what does and does not get a user blocked.

Abeytia and Paredes both have access to the Twitter feed if they simply logout of their respective accounts and search for the EPPD feed.  Their access to read is not blocked.  Their ability to spam their Twitter feed has been blocked.   If you'll notice, the EPPD feed has no posts from citizens on it.  It's just the EPPD giving information and retweeting other police departments, TxDOT and relevant news sources.  It would seem it's not a place where two way discussion are their intention.  And because they don't want erroneous information on their channel, they don't let people like Abeytia and Paredes spam their feed.  It makes complete sense to anyone with half a brain.  

Here's another example of David K lying. I point it out because if he's going to make his blog about me, he should at least do me a solid and not lie. So this paragraph starts with a nonsensical argument of logging out of Twitter to read the EPPD feed. Well the fact that I, or any of the many other people who have been selectively blocked would have to logout of twitter to see their info is the whole fucking point.

We shouldn't have to just because we where either critical or asked questions about their blocking policy. Which is the whole ever-loving point.

DK then says that EPPD feed has no posts from citizens on it. I'm gonna chalk this one up to DK just being ignorant of how Twitter is used and not say he's lying. Its entirely possible he just doesn't know what he's talking about on this one rather than out-right lying. But here's a screen shot I had to get from someone else in order to prove my point. I blurred out the user's names and pics, but if you aren't blocked from their page, you can find these pretty easily.

Oh look, what is that I see? feeds from citizens on PD's twitter page:

My favorite part is where DK sticks his foot in his mouth and declares that it makes sense to "anyone with half a brain" that the page isn't a place for "two-way discussion" and how they don't let people "spam their feed".

I guess he doesn't have half a brain.

Especially when DK pivots at the end to making some comment about police being killed and we are whining about twitter. As though the two have anything to do with one another and implying that we are okay with violence against police.

So just so that people like David K understand, I don't know anyone that condones violence against police. And David K is a special kind of asshole for implying that I do simply because I had questions about transparency and policies relating to twitter blocking of the public.

The reality is that this isn't an argument about ORR's for tweets from PD. This isn't an argument about violence against police. This isn't an argument about the first amendment.

This is an argument about yet another systemic problem the City of El Paso has with transparency. And frankly, the Mayor letting transparency constantly be a problem from the City is something he can't continue to ignore. It won't get fixed until Mayor Leeser makes it a priority.

The City has been busted - repeatedly I might add - not releasing information to media that they were required to. The City allowed Rep Noe redact information from an open records request BEFORE it got to the City Attorney's Office and released it, which it isn't supposed to do (that's right, I haven't forgotten). Lets not forget Acosta's effort to target certain members of the public from having access to public documents, an authority the city doesn't even possess in the first place.

And now the City allows people to be inexplicably blocked from the same access to information that other twitter users have access to, for seemingly no consistent reason.

Transparency is a problem at the City. And this situation gives the appearance, especially with the examples I posted above, that as long as you post something really nice about PD, they allow it on their feed, but if you asked questions they don't like, not even anything critical - just basic questions, they can, will, and have blocked users.

That is the argument, not all the bullshit David K is saying. The question I have is why is he going out of his way to so severely distort what is a pretty clear argument about openness?

Look, I'm not saying that PD should allow a free-for-all on their twitter page. People that troll on a public page can be super annoying. But you simply shouldn't be blocked, and it gives a terrible appearance to the public, when asking simple questions.

Personal accounts is a whole other argument. If someone is trolling me, fuck'em. If I choose to block them, as Bobby Brown says, its my prerogative.

But I'm not a publicly funded government entity. PD is.

And hell, I've spent a lot of time trolling Donald Trump. Asking PD basic questions isn't trolling.

This is trolling:

Donald Trump isn't a government entity either. He can block me if he chooses. Hell, I'd consider it a feather in my cap if he did.

But if its a government entity, there should be an identifiable standard and procedure followed to do so, above the terms of service issued by twitter because the government is also accountable to the people.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

No standard is needed. It's not a document, it's not an official record... it's an app.