By Michael Mullins
“I stand with Phil” petition links have been restored on Twitter after supporters of the “Duck Dynasty” patriarch, Phil Robertson, claimed the social media site purposely blocked the website for political reasons.
Earlier in the week, Twitter users attempting to post links to the “I stand with Phil” petition website were prevented from doing so, receiving messages that the content they were posting contained malware or that the site was spam.
In a statement to MarketingLand.com on Tuesday, Twitter claimed the incident was an “error” stemming from an “outside organization.”
“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 MarketingLand.com.
Despite this snag, more than 237,000 people have signed the “I stand with Phil” petition as of 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning in reaction to A&E’s decision to put the 67-year-old devout Christian on an indefinite hiatus following his recent anti-gay comments in a GQ interview.
“[You] start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there â€” bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” Robertson told GQ. “It seems like, to me a woman would be more desirable [than a man]. … That’s just me.”
“She’s got more to offer,” he continued. “I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
The “I stand with Phil” petition states that “Mr. Robertsonâ€™s comments in GQ Magazine are simply reflective of a Biblical view of sexuality, marriage, and family â€“ a view that has stood the test of time for thousands of years and continues to be held by the majority of Americans and todayâ€™s world as a whole.”
“Many members of the LGBT community may not agree with this view, but the notion that a free-thinking American should be discriminated against simply for expressing a perspective that is in conflict with another is patently un-American and flies in the face of true tolerance and civility,” the “I stand with Phil” petition continues.
A&E, which describes itself as “supporters and champions of the LGBT community” has yet to revisit its decision to suspend Robertson due largely to the backlash it has experienced from Robertson supporters. The future of the show remains uncertain. His family, who comprise the rest of the show’s cast, has signaled that they cannot imagine going forward with the show without him.