Romeo  Ha! banishment! be merciful, say ‘death;’
For exile hath more terror in his look,
Much more than death: do not say ‘banishment.’

Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act III, Scene III.

Romeo

Romeo, Romeo. Where art thou. Romeo?

Thus spoke Romeo in Shakespeare’s immortal tale, but alas the same fate befell me, when on May 1, 2015, twitter forever banished me from their august roles, although I had been a faithful user since soon after twitter was first launched in 2006. Using #followfriday and #writerwednesday I amassed over 7,000 followers. I was one of the first 100 persons to write a novel on twitter, which we called the #twitternovel. @goosenovel was written entirely on a blackberry while I was “sipping” (to use an euphemism that is a favorite of The New York Times) a beer in a cafe just outside our apartment in Barcelona while my wife was at a scientific conference back in 2010.

Since that time I deleted @goosenovel out of paranoia that the pharmaceutical company my “novel” was loosely based on would try and sue me. Eventually I found an agent for my tome, who insisted that everything in my masterpiece had to correspond to the reality of my experiences as an expert witness in drug safety litigation related to a prescription medication for acne that was causing teenagers to kill themselves. I had several episodes of flipping the “novel” back and forth between truth and fiction before I ended up with the final outcome of a well-reviewed narrative nonfiction book The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg. A movie of the same name with a story that is loosely based on the book is scheduled to be filmed.

Back to twitter, when my Before You Take That Pill blog, which was about topics related to that of the book of the same title I wrote, namely the safety of prescription medications, and by extension the corruption of the pharmaceutical industry and its step-children academic medicine, hospitals, and the medical device and medical insurance industries, veered into the area of Amanda Knox, an American unjustly jailed for murder in Italy, for the simple reason that I was looking for something to write about in Italian with my tutor (my wife and kids are Italian citizens), and that my sister was her lawyer, I was visited upon by a rat’s nest of mentally ill and sadistic sociopaths. Unfortunately, the family of the murder victim, who worked for the BBC and tabloids in Italy, became irrationally convinced of her guilt (as unfortunately often happens in these cases), to the point where the father wrote a book about her guilt. I mean, why don’t we just throw her in a pool and see if she floats? The logic was, she looked guilty, so the heck with justice. Let’s put her in jail! The brother worked for the BBC, who broadcast an execrable “documentary” by Andrea Vogt, which was a bunch of biased gibberish trying to paint a picture of guilt. I had previously proven based on medical evidence beyond a shadow of a doubt that guilt was scientifically impossible. When I wrote on twitter that the family was treating her no better than the the Germans treated the Gypsies and the Jews, the venerable Daniel Sanford of the BBC said I should be “ashamed” and “delete what I said”. My response was why should I delete a statement about the innocence of a person who was, in fact without question, innocent? Persons who publicly declared her guilt or such nonsensical comments as “we’ll never really know what happened” were the ones to be ashamed! After that I had to block over 500  rabid drunken unemployed English football fans on twitter. In April of 2015 she was ultimately acquitted. Within a week, however I found myself locked out of my twitter account @dougbremner, and got the following email.

Banned by twitter

I guess they didn’t like me anymore. I appealed, but got the same response. I asked for a copy of this “violent threat” but never received it. My guess is that either an English employee of twitter took retaliatory action, or a group of them conspired to simultaneously lodge a complaint against me. In any case, it is a loss for justice and the rule of law, and a win for the mob, and a mark against twitter as a tool for social justice.

 

I’m back, with 18 followers. So follow me at @doug_bremner. And keep your eye on the prize. But it won’t be on twitter.