Damn I am so blocked

Okay so recently I discovered I was blocked by a religious commentator. Incidentally that is not my description of him but his own (as you can see below). Now this commentator is often quite public about reaching out to all manner of awful extremists. Some of whom he has quite harsh (and often justified) running public battles with on twitter and on TV. So I was a little baffled by precisely what I could have tweeted to cause him to block me. Especially as I do not remember anything close to resembling an argument.

I am not really that bothered by the blocking and I am sure other folk have blocked me. I am only really looking into this case as the blocker is quite into public displays of how tolerant he is. Here is a quick screen capture just to show you I really am presently blocked in case this changes in future.  

Image showing I am blocked

Here is a zoomed in contrast improved relevant bit of this screen capture.

Zoomed in part of the blocking screen capture

You might notice that I have hidden the blocker's screen name and I do so throughout this page. I do this as I think it is unfair to name someone when I can not get their side of the story. Of course he did not get my side or even tell me before blocking but I am not that petty normally. Anyway it is trivial for anyone who wants to find out who he is to do so by searching on twitter. That is not an accidental oversight rather I am assuming anyone who goes to the bother of finding him on twitter will ask for his side of the story. I would even advise following him as outside of scientific and religious issues I generally agree with him.

Okay so onto my investigation. I searched my tweet stream and discovered that on the 29th of April I had commented on one of his tweets about a list of Muslim inventions. This was my tweet:

"Muslim inventions well apart from the Indian, Chinese, Egyptian and Greek bits http://t.co/EMS0F4cX via @[Name removed]"

This thus seemed initially as the last day I seen his tweets. However it is possible I could have mistaken someone else's retweet as his original post (curse you new style RTs). The last day I can be totally certain I wasn't blocked was the 14th of April. I can be certain as this day we had a two way conversation style exchange which is impossible if one side is blocked by the other. The last tweet in this series was:  

"@[Name removed] that justice in society comes from faith is an opinion, do you have any scientific falsifiabe (sic) evidence to back it up."

Now I checked and at no stage was the blocker ever a follower of mine. I have no reason to believe he would be underhand and make a fake account to monitor me covertly. Yes of course he could do this or even just continuously search twitter for my tweets but I can't really see any reason why I would warrant this. Let us give him the benefit of doubt and assume he does not do anything sneaky (or clever depending on your point of view). In this case as he is not my follower he would not see the vast majority of tweets I post. He would likely only see those that mention him or include a hashtag that he monitors or is monitoring at that particular moment.

So I grabbed all of his tweet stream (well the last few thousand or so tweets that twitter allows) and cross referenced his hashtags with mine. Some hashtags are too common for anyone to realistically watch so I excluded those. The only hit left was #bbctbq. So here are all tweets that either mention him or include the hashtag #bbctbq between now and the most recent date I definitely wasn't blocked.

(Yes I am aware of all the many typos in these.)

May 09 "@[Name removed] @Commuterist that aggregate conviction stat. just reflects the time-averaged population of the UK as you would expect."

May 06 "Funny coincidence this coming so close after the #bbctbq 's "Is religion good for children." debate." [This referred to me seeing an old woman being questioned by the Oxford police for pushing over a child on her way to church]

May 06 "Kneeling to authority teaches observers to question authority. Amazing logic on display on #bbctbq"

May 06 "Anyone know the break down of religious affiliation of London rioters? No, odd that evangelical Christian does. #bbctbq"

May 06 "Schools are indoctrinating environmentalism and healthy eating." #bbctbq I wish this crazy fox news style statement was true."

Apr 29 "(RT DrEvanHarris) Another beautiful one from the Lawyer's Christian Fellowship's Mark Mullins "Brevik not a Christian because he was a bad man". #bbctbq"

Apr 29 "(RT jon_s_maiden) "The death penalty is not justice but revenge. It is resorting to something the criminal would do." Well said. #bbctbq"

Apr 29 "Muslim inventions well apart from the Indian, Chinese, Egyptian and Greek bits http://t.co/EMS0F4cX via @[Name removed]"

Apr 29 "I love that they think they can debate the scientific consensus as they read two papers. #bbctbq #notscientists"

Apr 29 "One more time, solution = robot politicians! With base code/principes selected by voting #bbctbq"

Apr 15 "I will help the theists here. The answer is "Common language is limited in it's ability to describe theological constructs." #bbctbq"

Apr 15 "The question actually is "In the past did people imagine their god as having female characteristics?" Hell of a typo #bbctbq"

Apr 15 "Not about potential? Really so according to science every cell is alive. Do cancer cells have a right to life. #bbctbq"

Apr 15 "Oh wouldn't it be so easy if we only gave human rights to nice people. Bloody EU trying to protect everyone #bbctbq #TypoFix"

Apr 15 "No we don't know the individual circumstances..." and you make sweet FA effort to find out due to your own selfish views #bbctbq"

Apr 15 "Yet to meet anyone with a strong opinion on the sex of god. Thou to be fair I avoid theological dicussions with crackheads #bbctbq"

Apr 15 "So on #bbc1 in 15mins on #bbctbq today they will be debating "Is God a Woman?" No honestly they really are! #atheist"

Apr 14 "@[Name removed] that justice in society comes from faith is an opinion, do you have any scientific falsifiabe evidence to back it up."

Now one of these caused a block. Anyone care to guess which one? Really only the one questioning the list of Muslim inventions is even close to a criticism. Even then it is pretty damn slight. The slightest bit of research into most of the items or a mere moment of ponderance about the true incremental nature of science would lead many to similar thoughts. Still this is a tangent I don't want to go on now. Yes of course many might disagree with this tweet. In fact someone else on twitter did politely question this and I went through my reasoning. If you disagree fine I won't lose any sleep over it or block anyone for suggesting I could be wrong. 

Anyway it's always possible there has been a mistake or maybe he did happen to view a tweet of mine RTed by someone he follows. Or maybe he just happened upon one of my tweets outside the above list for some reason. However given the very small overlap of the circles we move in and our fleeting contact this seems unlikely. Hence currently I am left pondering about how a guy continuously calling for tolerance of his views and more discussion with those holding opposing views in public feels the need to privately block someone who merely dares to question his public tweets.

I would ask for his opinion or reasoning but of course I can't. Still if I hear anything or I find out something new I will update this page.

O and in the interests of full disclosure here are all tweets back to when I joined twitter that mention him.

All past interactions