Someone Blocked Me On Twitter

I’ve been on Twitter for more than 2 years now. I only started using it after I published my children’s book, and creating the Twitter account was one of the services included in my self-publishing package. I started playing around with it, began getting followers and found that it was a very useful tool for connecting with other writers. 
I always knew that the risk of posting stuff online was that someone may not like what you have to say, or be offended.Then somehow it gets blown up and you’re getting bombarded with hateful comments and death threats. 
I represent myself on Twitter as a children’s author, so I knew it was important to censor myself in what I post. I’ve always made a conscious effort to not be too dirty, or use vulgar language. I would never comment negatively on anyone’s appearance (especially when it has nothing to do with what a post was about). I’d never slut-shame, mommy-shame, fat-shame, fill-in-the-blank-shame. I didn’t want to get too political, or delve into any controversial topics, so I would try to steer clear of commenting on any tweets that could lead to heated debates. 
I came dangerously close to a bad situation when I dared to comment on something involving an issue against Donald Trump. I was shocked when a pro-Trump supporter decided to clap back at me with a sharp comment. I didn’t try to engage him further, and it thankfully just ended there. 
So with the exception of that one incident, I’ve found my Twitter interactions to be rather enjoyable. I’ve been making connections within the writer’s community. We share jokes, encouraging words and funny memes & GIFs. I’ve even gotten likes/comments from some celebrities like Mark Hamill, Kevin Smith and Evangeline Lily. As a nerd fanboy, that’s pretty exciting. 
…Then one day, somebody blocked me. 
How did it happen, you ask? Well it started with a comment I made on a tweet without fully understanding what it was. 
An adorable female artist, whose profile pic showed her to be a cute young girl with blonde hair and pink streaks, posted what appeared to be nothing more than an ad with a link to a website where you can purchase some backpacks. 
The backpacks were shown in a short video clip. One was pink, and one was blue, and they were decorated with more than a hundred different drawings of what appeared to be characters from the “Pokemon” franchise. 
Now I say “appeared to be” because they looked slightly different. I was very into Pokemon when I was younger, and have played every Nintendo video game. My son is very into Pokemon right now. We’ve watched 20 seasons worth of the Pokemon cartoon show, and we love playing the app “Pokemon Go” together. So I am fully aware of what the characters are supposed to look like. 
The characters on those backpacks were clearly a little off. They looked very cute, no doubt, but obviously not true Pokemon merchandise. So that was what I chose to make my comment about.
I tweeted “Uh-Oh! It looks like The Pokemon Company is going to sue somebody. Those are clearly unlicensed knock-offs.” 
It was about 10 minutes later that I got a notice of a Twitter comment on my phone. Sure enough it was a comment to my Pokemon comment, but not from the person who posted the tweet. It was someone who I’m assuming was one of her followers coming to her defense. They wrote “looks like original art, you goddamn pleb” 
I was shocked and confused. Shocked by the tone of the comment, and confused because I didn’t know what “pleb” meant. After a quick Google search (It’s short for plebian, an ordinary person, especially one from the lower social classes.) I went to go back to the original tweet to clarify what it was. I found that I couldn’t access it anymore. I had been blocked. 
While I could no longer see any tweets in the user’s profile, her banner image indicated that she designed and produced those backpacks herself. That cute young girl with the blonde/pink streaked hair wasn’t just posting an ad because she liked it. She was an artist trying to sell something that she created. She blocked me because she felt I was disrespecting her work by calling it a “knock off”. 
When I realized that, I felt awful. That’s not what I was trying to do. After all, I’m an artist too, in a way. I wrote a children’s book. It’s something I created. It wouldn’t exist right now if it wasn’t for me. I put lots of effort into trying to sell my book so that others may appreciate it. I wish I could have gotten a chance to apologize and clarify my comment, because I fully support any artist who wants to share their work with the world. 
As bad as I felt though, after a while I couldn’t help but think that I was also correct. If I had known the whole story, I wouldn’t have said things the way I said them, but I may have still made the same point. Ijust would have found a way to word it differently. Also, I wouldn’t have tagged the official Twitter account for The Pokemon Company, potentially alerting them to an obvious trademark violation. This artist was selling those backpacks and advertising them using the word “Pokemon”. Now I may be just nothing but a “pleb”, but I’m pretty sure that selling anything depicting trademarked characters without permission from the company who owns the rights to them, is quite illegal. 
Unfortunately, the Twitter user in question didn’t see it that way and went straight for the block. I may never know what her true reasoning was behind it. The most likely explanation is that she just has a zero tolerance policy to negative comments about her or her artwork. Seems a little harsh to me. She could have simply commented back to let me know that she was offended. I’m quite sure that I would have apologized right away. 
Apologies used to be good enough for small transgressions like those. What if you were walking down the street, and then accidentally bumped into somebody causing them to drop their bag and spill its contents on the sidewalk;then before having a chance to do or say anything, hundreds of people charge up and start yelling hateful things at you? That of course would never happen in real life, but it happens countless times on Twitter every day. 
I don’t want to go so far as to say that social media is causing us to be too sensitive, but at the very least, it’s made us less shy about sharing our opinions. The detachment of words typed onto a screen has given us the confidence to say things we would never say to somebody in person. 
In some cases, the things we are able to say express valid points that absolutely deserve discussion. In other cases, the safety of a computer screen gives people the ability to express some of the most horrific, appalling, insulting thoughts imaginable. There are many subtle levels, and one punishment doesn’t necessarily fit every crime. 
A lot of times, I’m sure that someone who gets blocked on someone’s Twitter profile most likely deserves it. I’ll also agree that an attractive, young blonde girl or any form of celebrity is going to have to put up with a lot more aggravation than someone like me. The thousands upon thousands of followers they have will contain a lot more disturbed individuals than the measly 400+ followers I have. I can understand how patience can wear thin pretty fast. 
I don’t take my Twitter block lightly. I’ve always been very careful about what I post, and now I will be even more so. I can only hope that should I slip up again, the next Twitter user will afford me the chance to apologize. I really don’t think that I fit the characteristics of a Social Media Troll.

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