Why Twitter should reverse its absurd Barry Horns ban

The Barry Horns (and guest).

Gareth Ceidiog Hughes

The Barry Horns have been sent into permanent Twitter exile.

After being banished to the Twitter equivalent of Siberia a few times, the account of the very fine brass band and Welsh football superfans has been chucked out for what appears to be for good.

Its name is a play on that of Welsh football legend Barry Horne, and its music has become a special element of the atmosphere at our international matches. Its Twitter incarnation combined pride in Wales, with a fierce passion for fairness, and justice, with a not insubstantial amount of humour and cheek.

This earned it a cult following among the Welsh twitterati, of which I am a member, and which is now mourning its loss, as well as decrying the sheer unfairness.

The hashtag #freethebarryhorns has spread across Welsh Twitter like the wildest of wildfire.

Now I’m not going to defend everything that has been tweeted from the account. The language has been a tad fruity on occasion.

I have though seen the tweets that earned them their latest ban, and the idea that they were abusive or harmful is a little bit of a stretch to say the least. Whoever administered the ban evidently isn’t fluent in sarcasm for one thing, nor well-versed in common sense. It seems like a decision made by a robot, and come to think of it, could well be. It is arbitrary and heavy-handed.

Let’s also look at who remains on the social media platform to spew their bile. The venomous Katie Hopkins ‘media personality’ for example remains at large on the site.

Make no mistake. Twitter is soft when it comes to the far-right. It had developed an algorithm to detect and then to banish people who displayed far-right sympathies. It was similar to the mechanism to the one that they used to largely eradicate ISIS propaganda off the platform.

However, this idea was canned when it turned out that if they implemented it, they would have to ban an awful lot of Republican politicians in the US. They Bottled it. It is a cop-out.

Let’s face it; they would probably end up having to ban The Donald himself. The President of the United States of America is a white nationalist. You see, the powerful live by a different set of rules.

The idea that the Barry Horns should be banned while these accounts remain is laughable.

 

Uprising

The Barry Horns punched up at the powerful. It went out to bat for the NHS. That’s what it was defending when it got banned this time. The likes of Trump and Hopkins punch down at minorities, with knuckledusters.

The Barry Horns did make a brief and glorious return to the twittersphere. The rebellion spread across the platform like the Glyndŵr uprising. I half expect them to go all Braveheart. They can take our Twitter accounts, but they can never take our freedom. It gained more than four thousand followers in just a few days. But like the Glyndŵr uprising it was quickly put down, and The Barry Horns were banished once more.

They have been a powerful advocate for the Welsh language, and used it to tweet during the rebellion. On the plus side, at least Twitter is paying attention to the Welsh language, even if the result is rather negative in this instance, because it means it was paying attention to The Barry Horns this time. Every cloud and all that.

Twitter should without a doubt reverse its absurd ban and #freethebarryhorns, and it should do more to tackle the far right to boot. The ban reveals something profoundly troubling about the way the platform is run, and a deep unfairness.

Thankfully The Barry Horns do remain large and in charge on Facebook. At least Zuckerberg and his Dumb and Dumber hair cut hasn’t got everything wrong. So, if you’re not already, do yourself a favour and give The Barry Horns a like on the platform.

They embody the new passion and energy that is emerging, not only in Welsh football, but in the Welsh nation as a whole. That cannot be extinguished by Twitter or anybody else. See you at the Euros.

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Ifan DafisPaulDavid RobertsHuw DaviesAlwyn J Evans Recent comment authors
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Hailey
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Hailey

It’s crap like this that made me end my £2 a month subscription to nation.cymru and lose faith in Wales ever getting a decent media outlet of its own.

Besides the terrible “article”, some of the things I saw Barry Horns tweet over the years were *absolutely* deserving of a ban, I don’t know who was behind the account but hopefully this ban will make them take a look at themselves.

Beholder of the Horn
Guest
Beholder of the Horn

Hi there, Mr Protic.
I was “behind the account” and can confirm the ban has indeed made me “take a look” at myself – and I can see that I remain an absolute legend. Even more so, in Twitter martyrdom. Absence is presence. Tidy, baaaaht. x

Paul Albert
Guest
Paul Albert

You mean you ended your subscription because you were faced with something you didn’t agree with? That sounds like rather delicate and intolerant position to adopt.

Dai
Guest
Dai

Glad they are gone, Twitter is better off without them. They were totally unable to accept anyone who didn’t 100# agree with them….they just blocked at will. Hwyl bechgyn!!

Beholder of the Horn
Guest
Beholder of the Horn

YOU: The Barry Horns are unable to accept the free speech of anyone who disagrees with them
ALSO YOU: It’s great they are banned from Twitter and from expressing their opinions

– Make your mind up, baaht x

Huw Davies
Guest
Huw Davies

What Dai said is worse than that. He complains the Horns blocked posts from people who didn’t agree with them. I thought blocking is a better response than getting into a ‘twitter spat’. Blocking is vastly different to banning someone from expressing their opinion. Twitter blockees (if that’s even a word!) can still publish their opinions on Twitter for anyone who chooses to read, or not read, them. It is equivalent to changing the TV channel when you don’t like what’s on. Dai sounds like he prefers to watch, take offence and complain. Twitter does seem less likely to ban… Read more »

David Roberts
Guest
David Roberts

They used to spend all day, every day arguing with people, swearing & hurling abuse. The Welsh national movement is better off without them….they must have been very offputting to any interested, curious observers looking in, from the outside. At least now they can concentrate at football, what they are good at!

A prophecy is buried in Eglwyseg
Guest
A prophecy is buried in Eglwyseg

Oh come. You wish to create a lasting popular uprising against the British State and you complain when folk personalities within it are tossed from social media?

You wish to remove the power structures of the oldest surviving aristocratic families on earth, of course your forerunners will be disrupted. Your position on the field of war is weak, and such things must be expected to happen. Many more will come in times ahead, this is a mere acupuncture prick by your foes to see how you react.

Beholder of the Horn
Guest
Beholder of the Horn

This was an epic read.

Geraint Tudur
Guest
Geraint Tudur

Gwych iawn ! #freethebarryhorns

David Roberts
Guest
David Roberts

Welsh Twitter is a much nicer place without them!

Beholder of the Horn
Guest
Beholder of the Horn

How many aliases have you got, Mr Protic? : )

Leigh Richards
Guest
Leigh Richards

Must be in the hundreds by now ? To think protic’s gone to all that effort – and for so little reward ?

David Roberts
Guest
David Roberts

Nope…..dwi ddim yn Jac Prot o Ynys Mon! Sori!!

Simon Gruffydd
Guest

Twitter is not a free speech platform. Neither is Youtube or Facebook. Some free speech equivalents are Gab, Bitchute and Minds. You may have liked this or that now banned account, but there is no sense complaining. The question you must ask yourself is – do you support free speech or controlled speech? If the former, take you time and attention to free speech platforms. If the latter, take your pill and stop complaining. Don’t ever expect controlled speech platforms to be controlled just the way you’d like it.

Leigh Richards
Guest
Leigh Richards

Absolutely disgraceful that the Barry horns get a ban from Twitter for defending the NHS – but this Pembrokeshire based neo Nazi account is allowed to post tweets denying the holocaust and gloryfying Adolf Hitler https://mobile.twitter.com/Wolfpack4Truth

Alwyn J Evans
Guest
Alwyn J Evans

Not knowing what was written in the tweets makes this article a nicely written but a pointless read. They are banned for good reason without any evidence to the contrary. I believe people like Hopkins etc come under news worthy, which twitter say has a certain protection other users don’t.

Beholder of the Horn
Guest
Beholder of the Horn

Hi Alwyn,
Here are the tweets under scrutiny:
https://twitter.com/garethtrombone/status/1201256203977973760
Diolch

Alwyn J Evans
Guest
Alwyn J Evans

Thank you. That’s ridiculous.

Paul
Guest
Paul

Far too political for a football fan account.

Glad they’ve been banned, I muted them a while back.

Ifan Dafis
Guest
Ifan Dafis

The article refers to Mr Trump and Kate Hopkins “knucklebashing” minorities……..I wonder if the author would clarify which “minorities” he is referring to?