Bird Charity's Account Frozen After Tweet About Woodcock

It took 8 days to get back in
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2023 10:04 AM CST
Bird Charity's Account Frozen After Tweet About Woodcock
   (Getty Images / Henri Lehtola)

Researchers noted a rise in "hate speech, antisemitic posts, and other troubling content" in the wake of Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter—and yet those seemingly loosened posting parameters were apparently still too tough for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). Yes, that's a bird conservation charity, and it found itself locked out of its Twitter account for eight days with no clear answer as to why. But it does have a theory: that it was put on ice due to its "repeated use of the word 'woodcock' for our species survey, which might have been misinterpreted by Twitter's algorithms." (One tweet asked for volunteers to count "displaying male Woodcock.")

The BBC reports the BTO was locked out of its account on Jan. 20 and wasn't able to get back in until Saturday night. "Twitter clips wings of bird charity's account," quipped the Telegraph. "We're conscious of the irony of a bird charity being locked out of Twitter," said a rep for the BTO, calling the timing "annoying," as it coincided with BBC Winterwatch wildlife programming and an annual garden bird survey. "There tends to be a swell of activity among our 115,000 followers" during those events, he said.

Musk himself noted the irony as well, tweeting on Tuesday, "Most ironic thing I've read in a while. How much wood could a woodcock..." The BTO poked fun on Wednesday morning, tweeting a cover of the Daily Star and noting, "It's not every day that @_BTO makes the front page of the tabloids, and nice to see them so concerned about the status of the red-listed bird-that-cannot-be-named." (More Twitter stories.)

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