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Twitter said it made a mistake when a petition to get Phil Robertson back on A&E’s Duck Dynasty was blocked from being linked to in tweets. The block was first perceived as censorship, but Twitter said that the site was mistakenly flagged as spam.
IStandWithPhil.com was launched last week, shortly after Robertson’s controversial statements on homosexuality were published in GQ and he was subsequently suspended from the hit show. The petition has now reached its goal of 200,000 signatures and stands at 210,288 signatures.
According to TheWrap, anyone who tried to include a link to the site in a tweet Monday couldn’t do so. A message would pop up that read, “Oops! A URL in your Tweet appears to link to a page that has spammy or unsafe content.”
However, that block was later lifted. “The URL IStandWithPhil.com was mistakenly flagged as spam tonight, by an outside organization that tracks spam sources. We have restored access and apologize for the error,” Twitter told Marketing Land.
Faith Driven Consumer set up the petition and claims that it was an intentional block. The group claims that two previous Robertson petitions were blocked as well, but didn’t say what those were.
The controversy surrounding Robertson has become a major topic of conversation and he didn’t say anything until he defended his comments at a bible study group. Over the weekend, Cracker Barrel said it would stop selling duck Dynasty products, but then reversed its decision after backlash from customers.