[See the Update below. While the Tweets did in fact disappear from my view from one hour to the next using the same method to view them as before, and it certainly appeared Mr. McKibben has deleted Tweets, that wasn't the case, it turns out to be an odd nuance of Twitter. An honest mistake that Mr. McKibben also agrees with in his comment below. This is a good lesson for future examinations of this short form communications.- Anthony]
I witnessed something interesting this morning. I composed my first ever Tweet to Bill McKibben and some of his buddies to alert them to this article: July hottest ever, but U.S. tornado count – lowest since 1951: ‘poisoned weather’ meme falsified by Nature.
Here’s my Tweet:
Surprisingly, while at coffee with friends this AM, I got a flurry of Twitter responses on my phone, including two from McKibben himself. But when I went home to write about them, they had disappeard from Bill McKibben’s Twitter feed and from mine. The “view conversation” balloon, indicating responses, had disappeared. Fortunately, I was able to take a photo of them on my phone, because I had not closed or updated the Twitter app:
Note that McKibben mentions that it is “not worth the tradeoff” in reference to linking tornadoes to #poisonedweather.
Here is the screen grab I made this AM, before going to coffee, showing the direct Tweet I made to him and To Brad Johnson and Stephen Lacey of ClimateProgress/ThinkProgress.
Here’s a response I made to Bill’s mention that it is “not worth the tradeoff”:
I suggested that if he really believed what he was tweeting, he should write an op-ed about it. He gets some serious press opportunities that I do not.
And a couple of minutes later, that was gone too:
All of this deletion of Tweets reminds me of Phil Jones and his deletion of emails before Climategate showed the world what sort of person he is.
It also reminds me of the second to last email Bob Phelan sent me before he died:
Bob was right, we aren’t dealing with honest people,
as demonstrated so well by Bill McKibben today.
UPDATE: Commenter Sou points out that the Tweets by Bill McKibben responding to my initial one that I pointed out as having been “disappeared” are still available via direct links. Yet, they are not in my Twitter feed nor are they in Mr. McKibben’s Twitter feed as far as I can tell. What is clear though is that my Tweets to him have been removed from his Twitter feed, and thus I suspect his replies to me became orphans without a thread.
To be accurate then, since Mr McKibben’s Tweets still exist but mine do not in his feed, I have changed the title of this post from:
Bill McKibben disappears his own commentary on #poisonedweather
Bill McKibben disappears commentary on #poisonedweather
UPDATE2: Bill McKibben weighs in with a comment which I’ve reproduced here to be fair. Seeing his explanation, and to be accurate, and knowing that Twitter’s nuances can often be confusing and arbitrary, I’m changing the title yet again to:
Twitter disappears Bill McKibben commentary on #poisonedweather
I managed to leave this response originally in the other thread about this subject. So here it is again in case anyone missed it–thanks
As the commenter above points out with links, I didn’t disappear or delete anything. I think what happens is that you may not be following me on twitter and so the replies don’t show up on your stream. Here’s a link to the phenomenon, which is apparently common: http://www.voiceoftech.com/swhitley/index.php/2010/05/those-lost-twitter-replies/
It’s also possibly something as simple as turning on the “All” instead of “No Replies” thing next to the “Tweets” button on your twitter home page
At any rate, they’re still up there, and have been the whole time
Anyway, here’s what I was trying to say in those tweets, in case anyone else is having the same problem.
1) I was aware that July was remarkably low for tornadoes, apparently because the heat was so intense and the drought so deep–in fact, I’d tweeted about this fact two days before your post
2) I was quoting Jeff Masters as saying fewer tornadoes was not a good tradeoff for this kind of drought and heat. Here’s a link to the article that says both of the above http://www.heraldandnews.com/article_90e490d2-e419-11e1-84eb-001a4bcf887a.html
3) In response to the other comments above, I’m not actually advising the Romney campaign
and 4) I will in fact be debating publicly on the question of climate risk on Nov. 5–the Center for Industrial Progress challenged me, and I accepted. http://www.masterresource.org/2012/07/debate-350-orgs-bill-mckibben-vs-cips-alex-epstein/ As you can see, the commenters there are convinced that my clock wil be cleaned, and perhaps they’re right.
Finally, let me just state for the record: I don’t think you were dishonest in this post–it was something to do with the way Twitter works internally, or the way you’d configured your account. Nor do I doubt your sincerity in general. I disagree with your position, and I think that if we stick with it and do nothing about global warming it will do great damage to creation, but as I’ve pointed out publicly, I think you’re an able advocate and have fought with great effect. http://www.tomdispatch.com/archive/175549/
Let me add as well that I was sad to read of the passing of your colleague Mr. Phelan, and moved by the tributes to him.
To quote Bob Phelan, in what was probably his best ever inline comment as moderator, and certainly applicable to your response:
“[REPLY: Your restraint, undoubtedly in the face of intolerable provocation, is appreciated. -REP]”
Twitters nuances did do one good thing today though, it caused us to communicate -Anthony