Double J Plays Account Suspended By Twitter

26 June 2023 | 11:21 am | Mary Varvaris

What on earth is happening with Twitter?

Double J logo

Double J logo (Source: Facebook)

Double J Plays, an automated social media account that posts the songs that play on Double J in real-time, has been suspended by Twitter.

As the Double J Radio account explained on 22 June, “The account was suspended last week - we have no idea why. We've asked Twitter for an explanation but are yet to hear back.” 

Oddly enough, the triple j plays Twitter account hasn’t been suspended, but it does seem a little inactive – the account’s most recent tweet was sent out at 4:45 AM on Friday. There’s no way triple j hasn’t played any music since then, which begs the question: what on earth is happening with Twitter?

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From 9 February, Twitter cancelled free programmatic access to Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), instead installing a paid tier to use third-party tweeting services such as HootSuite, TweetBot and ThreadReader.

An API allows one application to access information and communicate with another application. Was the Double J Plays account suspended for using an automated API service?

Twitter owner Elon Musk has since rolled out a $5,000 per month plan to use APIs on the social media platform, which is still too expensive for most developers and likely arrived too late for those who shut down their apps when he first announced the ridiculous $42,000 per month API fee.

Tech entrepreneur Anil Dash wrote about the decision, “Twitter killing the API behind a paywall will accelerate the loss of valuable content on this platform (many of the most effective and unique content creators publish via the API) while abusive bots will continue to go around the API, as always.” In November, Musk called Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor a "crybaby" for leaving Twitter due to the changes on the platform.

In October, the federal government allocated $500,000 for a feasibility study into the expansion of Double J to FM frequencies.

In March 2022, several high-profile Australian artists began petitioning to have Double J shifted to FM to give older female musicians a platform to be heard.

In an open letter, Missy Higgins, Kasey Chambers, Kate Miller-Heidke, Sarah Blasko, Vikki Thorn and Deborah Conway highlighted inequality in the Australian radio landscape.

The open letter stated that “the expansion of Double J would be a relatively simple solution to this current inequity for artists and fans alike".

“At the moment, this fantastic digital-only channel plays a lot of new music by female (and non-female) artists over the age of 30, but its reach is severely limited," they said.

“Some of us can fortunately still be heard on triple j and community stations. The rest of us benefitted hugely from FM radio exposure in our 20s and 30s, and the hits we had in those years continue to receive recurrent airplay for which we are sincerely grateful. 

“However, like our male counterparts, we continue to release new music of which we are proud, and we believe that our fans deserve an equal opportunity to hear it on the radio.”

You can read the Labor government’s response here.