Phil Robertson petition: Twitter lifts block on links to IStandWithPhil.com
After a massive negative backlash, social networking site Twitter has lifted a block on links to the website IStandWithPhil.com, a page dedicated to support for suspended Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson.
The website is a petition organised by the Christian pressure group Faith Driven Consumer.
It calls for Mr Robertson's suspension, initially caused by his objection to homosexuality in a GQ interview, to be lifted and an apology issued by the US television network A&E.
It has successfully gathered over 200,000 signatures in under four days.
However, when Twitter users attempted to share the link, a dialogue box emerged which read "There was an error posting your message". Twitter for Mac users received the message that "status contains malware".
Other messages included "Oops! A URL in your tweet appears to link to a page that has spammy or unsafe content"
In an email statement to MarketingLand.com, Twitter said: "The URL IStandWithPhil.com was mistakenly flagged as spam tonight, by an outside organisation that tracks spam sources. We have restored access and apologise for the error."
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Some have criticised Twitters defence of its position, arguing that the mistake should not have happened because other independent sources which should have been consulted did not report the presence of any malware.
Google's website checking tool has consistently rated IStandWithPhil.com as perfectly safe and malware free. When inquiring about the site, it states that "this site is not currently listed as suspicious" and that "this has not hosted malicious software over the past 90 days".
According to Wrap.com, Twitter contacted the group hosting the website with the following message stating that it "has systems that blocks the posting of suspected harmful URLs in order to make Twitter safer and more secure for our users. … Even if Google's diagnostic report of the URL is clean, we may decide to continue blocking the URL on Twitter as potentially harmful".
In response to the block, many Robertson supporters tweeted the phrase "Let us be heard!".
Faith Driven Consumer welcomed the news that the links were back on: "BREAKING: You did it! We can now tweet http://istandwithphil.com ! You can now share it with your friends! THANK YOU! #IStandWithPhil"