Twitter has restored the link to the pro-Phil Robertson site "IStandWithPhil.com" and apologized for it being blocked from the site, explaining that it had been flagged as "spam." The u-turn comes after Twitter faced a quick and strong backlash from users who found they were not able to access the website through links posted on Twitter.
Supporters of the suspended "Duck Dynasty" patriarch accused Twitter of censoring the site, which hosts a petition that has received some 200,000 signatures in support of Phil Robertson.
Those who clicked the link on Monday received a message saying, "Oops! A URL in your Tweet appears to link to a page that has spammy or unsafe content."
Thousands of comments quickly filtered onto Twitter slamming the social network for attempting to work against Phil Robertson and his supporters. Twitter later lifted the block and apologized, claiming the block was a simple mistake.
"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 said in a statement.
The "iStandWithPhil" petition requests A&E reinstate Robertson to the "Duck Dynasty" reality show, stating: "As a Faith Driven Consumer, I am signing this petition to demand that my views be treated with equality and respect in America's rich rainbow of diversity."
"I am asking your network to immediately reinstate Mr. Robertson to Duck Dynasty, and to formally apologize to him, his family, and the millions of viewers who tune in every week, stand by him, and share his worldview. While the LGBT community may be offended by his opposing viewpoint, your rash, discriminatory, and unfair treatment toward Mr. Robertson - a recognized symbol of the faith community - is a slap in the face to Faith Driven Consumers and everyday Americans alike."
Last week, A&E indefinitely suspended Robertson from appearing on his reality show after he referred to the Bible to discuss sexual sin, including homosexuality, by telling GQ Magazine's January issue that he believes "neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers – they won't inherit the kingdom of God. Don't deceive yourself. It's not right."