Like just about every other online community these days, Twitter is "self-policed" for the most part. There are algorithms in place to identify potential spammers or other abuse patterns which have the unfortunate unintended consequence of capturing innocent people and shutting them down.
Take, for example, the Great Breitbot Controversy of 2012, where Michelle Malkin got her panties in a twist over Chris Loesch's suspension last June, causing a meltdown in the Breitbart sphere, where nothing is ever too trivial to blame on Barack Obama. And you know, I actually understand why they were upset. After all, Loesch uses his real name, makes no bones about who he is affiliated with, and is an obnoxious jerk. But he's always an obnoxious jerk. There was nothing special about his behavior the day he was suspended. He was, as usual, being abusive and exaggerating the misbehavior of the "libtards" he so loves to bait at every turn.
Things died down. Whatever had been done to the algorithm to suspend people who have been jerks since tweet number one was adjusted. Or the glitch fixed. But if you ask Malkin, she'll claim there are roving gangs of liberals out there with twitching block and report index fingers waiting to suppress conservatives' free speech rights.
As if. Personally, I think people go way overboard in 140 characters. I have a Breitbot out there who has created an entire website devoted to "taking me down" along with fellow members of the StopRush effort. He uses at least 15 accounts to tweet around 100 tweets per day with every name I've ever used and links to his blog calling for my "takedown," whatever that means.
He has made threats on other people's lives while spewing live on BlogTalkRadio, he has associations with groups I'll be writing about in another post, including Breitbart people, and he spams Twitter with vile tweets about my demise, along with the entire StopRush effort. He also buys followers from the same group Mitt Romney used.
But he goes on, just as he has been allowed to for the past eight months, unfettered and free of the dreaded Gulag.
Yet in this one week alone, accounts of people have been suspended who have done nothing against the terms of service. For instance, @NRAPressSecy and @NRAPressSec were parody accounts created to poke at the NRA's cowardly silence after last Friday's tragedy. Within a couple of days of their creation, they were suspended and eliminated. Why? Great question. We don't know. There are a couple of common threads I've identified across all of the suspensions.