That’s What He Said

What if a liberal who worked at Twitter got offended over something you posted and decided to censor you?

Posted in Parenting, Politics, Social, Startups, Technology by wolfsbayne on December 13, 2008

What if?

I’m gonna let some of you in on a little secret. I’m a conservative, recovering Libertarian, and self-described Independent. I don’t live in a bunker in some far away “Hickville”. I live in Los Angeles. I’m sure some of the liberals reading this know that L.A. is in California, but, if at the time you’re reading this, you’re too stoned to know, let me assure you that it is.

During the 2008 election cycle, I (@brooksbayne) made some new friends via Twitter – I also made some new “not friends”. Since the election’s been over, I’ve unwittingly become the resident and leading conservative in the L.A. tech scene (does that come with a door prize?). I’m not dogmatic about my views when I discuss issues with the other side. However, I’ve been told that I can be snarky.

One fine morning, about a month ago, a liberal mommy blogger got pissed off at some harmless Motrin ad posted sympathizing with babywearers about potential neck and back pain that wearing babies can cause. This liberal blogger posted some emotional nonsense on Twitter which was subsequently picked up by Jessica Gottlieb (@JessicaGottlieb) and the #MotrinMoms hashtag was created. Feeling quite pleased with herself after her initial #motrinmoms post, Jessica posted this:


Aw, cute, I just wanna pinch her little cheeks. I wonder if she talks to her kids this way while she’s wearing them.

FYI, I really don’t have anything against Jessica, or the aforementioned blogger, but I do think they were overreacting. Apparently, corporations can’t say *anything* about fads without getting unduly slammed for it. That’s right. I said fad. Although there are a few younger conservative women who may have been offended it seems a majority of the uproar was from the liberal corner. I asked my 5000 followers on Twitter, many of whom are conservative, if any were offended by the motrin ad. The only responses I got from my conservative mom followers were “No”. I do know of one young conservative mom who was offended, but she only repeated the #motrinmoms talking points.

You see, babywearing has been around in the conservative circles for many years, and in some cultures it’s been around as long as people can remember. Take a look at the photo below, dated 7/8/1996. Here’s a American conservative wearing a baby over 12 years ago…and it’s a man. Some of you might be thinking, “Damn, Brooks, you must’ve spent a long time trying to find this photo of a male babywearer predating the current babywearing fad on the Interwebz.” Well, actually, for those of you who know me can tell, that’s me in the photo along with my son right after he was born. Yeah, I know a thing or two about babywearing. Back then, the liberals I knew thought we were crazy for babywearing. My, how things have changed. As a babywearer, if ever there were an issue that could be described as a tempest in a teapot, it would be the motrin babywearing ad.

Brooks Bayne - Baby wearer.

“But Brooks, you can’t say this is some new fad.”

Yes we can!

Let’s take a look at the evidence of how babywearing has trended.  We can examine the 3 top resulting websites on Google for the term “babywearing” and the history of their content.

  1. By Google search rank: – registered 05-jan-2007 – content shortly after.
  2. – registered 23-jul-2003 but no babywearing information until September of that year per the Internet Wayback Machine.
  3. – registered in 30-jul-2001 *but this domain originally pointed to another domain that had *nothing* to do with babywearing when it was registered. In fact, there’s no babywearing information for this domain until late 2004 per the Internet Wayback Machine.

Next, we can look at Google’s blog indexes to gauge the propagation of the term “babywearing” in the blogosphere.

Google blog search has a whopping 5 blog posts indexed between January 2000 and the December 2003. However, from the January 2004 thru December 2007 over 12,000 blog posts were indexed. In 2008 alone, there have been over 35,000 blog posts indexed.

So, based on the above information, we can see the babywearing trend didn’t really get under way until 2004. Where we see a huge upswing in the stats for the term babywearing is in 2008. I wouldn’t say babywearing has “crossed the chasm” just yet.

I know, I know, you’re wondering what this all has to do with the title of this blog post.

Well, the last tweet of mine that was available in the public timeline and in was my snarky tweet in response to the whole overblown Motrin ad debacle. See for yourself:


Obviously, as a man who’s been a babywearer for longer than most of these newer upstart women babywearers, I think I would have a valid opinion about the hype over this. However, since posting that tweet, my newer tweets have not been posting to the public timeline and my posts are missing from search too. My Twitter account isn’t hidden/protected by me because you have to select the “protect my updates” checkbox to hide your profile. Mine’s not checked.


I first noticed something was up because I used Qwitter, now defunct, to let me know when people stopped following me. Days went by and all my Qwitter emails referred to that older #motrinmoms tweet of mine. Qwitter would list the last tweet you posted when someone quit following you. Since this was the last tweet of mine that was posted “publicly”, all my Quitter emails referred to it until the time Qwitter had it’s plug pulled by its devs, Contrast. I contacted the guys at Contrast. Here’s that exchange.


I’ve submitted 3 support requests to the folks at Twitter, but they haven’t responded. Twitter did respond to another unrelated support request within a couple days and resolved that issue. Interesting to note is the support request I submitted for this issue. Look at the the line marked (by me) with the red arrow in the pic below where it says “USER IS hidden on public timeline”. My account is obviously not hidden by me. A normal hidden account looks like this secondary account I created: My primary account isn’t hidden by me. So, how did my account become “hidden” in the public timeline?

I’m one of the the Top Conservatives on Twitter and I can’t post tweets with that group’s hashtag: #tcot. I mean, I can add the hashtag to my tweets, but if any people want to follow that hashtag using tools like Tweetdeck, they won’t see my tweets, because Tweetdeck searches hashtags in the public timeline.

It’s purely coincidental that my last post in the public timeline was regarding #motrinmoms, right? Although, theoretically, it wouldn’t be difficult for the devs to create another Bit column in Twitter’s database and keep people’s posts from hitting the public timeline and search by marking them hidden behind the scenes, but that would be censorship. Is @brooksbayne being censored by a liberal at Twitter who is sympathetic to the #motrinmoms? I have a feeling we’re about to find out.


6 Responses

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  1. Jessica Gottlieb said, on December 15, 2008 at 10:44 am

    1. Well written
    2. My kids are too big to be carried
    3. Nope, don’t cuss for the kids, but hey, make you look.
    4. I’m not stoned yet, it’s not 4.20
    5. I’m a conservative.
    6. Really, I am a conservative, not religious right, but a true fiscal conservative
    7. The backlash has been predicable, but since you’re so late to the I hate Jessica party, you have to buy me coffee.


  2. wolfsbayne said, on December 15, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    u can’t claim conservativism over fiscal issues when this is a social issue. if u tell me ur a social conservative, that’s a different story, but we both know ur not. 😉

    toots, u don’t get to pick the beverage, i’m taking u out for tea.

  3. Jessica Gottlieb said, on December 18, 2008 at 9:39 am

    I am not a social conservative, I’m hands off. Sleep with anyone who consents and pray to Zeus, just leave me alone about it.

    This is not a social issue and that’s where you’re terribly wrong. This is a fiscal issue. If a business wants to be viable they have to not offend their buyers. I used plain and simple grassroots methods to gather people of a like mind. Nothing could be more supply and demand than that.

  4. Jessica Gottlieb said, on December 18, 2008 at 9:40 am

    Oh, and it’s Mrs. Toots to you, because ya know, the whole toots thing attempts to demean me as a woman but really proves to everyone that you need to remain single.

  5. wolfsbayne said, on December 18, 2008 at 10:44 am

    like i said on my other blog: “this is more about me being censored than whether or not u think dropping f-bombs publicly makes u conservative.” this whole thing was a liberal hot button issue. u can try to ignore it, but that’s the way it is. i lol @ u stating this was a “fiscal” issue. babywearing *is* a fad. i think i proved that above.

    the toots thing was completely intentional and i thought u’d see it as such. sometimes when u intentionally fire a warning shot, they think u missed.

    regarding my personal life, ur making some pretty daring assumptions, toots.

  6. teachanytime said, on December 19, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Now this is getting good! I’m really interested to find out what happens with your timeline. It amazes me to think someone can press a button and shut you up if they don’t like your opinion. I was a baby wearer for a short time, my kids were all pretty huge and yes it did hurt me. I saw the Motrin ad and did think that it was done in poor taste, but I don’t think that Motrin deserved such a harsh backlash. They missed the mark, they pulled the ad, but did their reputation really need to be flushed down the toilet while people got their point across? I just think it got out of hand.

    BTW @brooksbayne You had me at censor, but you lost me at toots.

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