Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have noticed that I did a little rejig on the weekend. The account I had from January 2017 is now called @botbarchive and is dormant, and I have a new @bringonthebeer account, set up a couple of months ago, as a continuation. But why?
Back in October, I set up an emergency backup account. Friends - including Paul Aitken and Louis Barfe - had fallen victim to primary account suspension through no fault of their own. I knew this was a very real danger for mine. Given the strength of opinions on the platform, it is entirely possible that someone may take unnecessary offence at something I said and report me to Jack and his hipster dude in Silicon Valley, who would then summarily take away my account at will.
Bring On The Beer isn't a particularly strong brand, but it's mine, with money invested in URLs, e-mails, a body of YouTube work and business cards all with the name and logo and Twitter handle burned into them.
Oh and a personalised pint glass too!
As it is, someone must have been triggered by my rather particular view of the world because my account was maliciously placed on a blacklist, or blocklist. While I couldn't be sure who had done it, or which list I was on, it became obvious that I had been singled out as a troublemaker as a wide variety of people, the vast majority of which I'd never interacted with such as Simon Pegg, had my account blocked.
So, with a new year came the opportunity for a fresh start. I downloaded my Twitter archive to save all the interactions and photos, and renamed both accounts and put up numerous tweets and signs to point followers over to my new account.
Sadly, so far only 200-odd of the 930-odd I had at the old account have indeed followed me over, but the ability to use Twitter at its fullest capacity again is welcome and will be worth the effort.
I have no delusions about my lack of appeal to Beer Twitter. I am a brash, sham, amateur of a beer enthusiast who doesn't want to follow the crowd yet also suffers horrendously from FOMO. I am a contradiction, a contrarian, a confused contemptible. But I also want to try and get better at least. It would be nice if folk who leant me their ear before could do so again.