I woke on Friday morning to no new followers, and no re-tweets and a feeling of withdrawal kicked in from my addiction of social. See this post about my social addiction Singing About Social.
Upon opening my email, I saw a note from Twitter ” Your Account Has Been Suspended”. Panic set in. What have I done? What have I posted? Whom have I offended? Was it another accidental posting of erroneous material? (Yes that has happened to me!). Then came questions of “don’t they know who I am?” and the realisation that I am just a “small fish – big pond”, with possible delusions of grandeur.
It was time to find out why this happened. Twitter did kindly supply a link to advise me on why suspension occurs. But in it I found a never ending list of potential reasons. Nothing was helping me, no opportunity to learn from my mistakes. The question “Why” was still spinning in my head.
I submitted a help ticket that resulted in “you have been suspended for one of the following reasons” and “if you do not respond and admit you made a mistake and promise you will not do it again” this ticket will be closed.
Not surprisingly when I chased the ticket some five hours later, it had been closed. After raising yet another ticket and name dropping some Twitter VP’s I received an email that answered my question, Why? – This is the reason Twitter gave me:
This account was suspended for sending multiple unsolicited messages using the @reply and/or mention feature. These features are intended to make communication between people on Twitter easier. Twitter monitors the use of these features to make sure they are used as intended and not for abuse. Using either feature to post messages to a bunch of users in an unsolicited or egregious manner is considered an abuse of its use, which results in account suspension.
Wow! My first thought was, Really? I mention someone when saying thanks for following me or thanks for sharing, when giving credit to content, engaging with questions and answers and when having general chit chat. Is twitter now saying I can not do this any more? The only time in I could think of in the last week or so that I mentioned someone who was not even following me was when I wished them a Happy Birthday. How rude of me.
As I thought more about the message above I started to hone in on the “unsolicited messages”. How is this defined? This is a platform that you opt in to receive communications from as soon as you join. I of course realise that there are those who abuse and spam corrupt links. So did I fall into this category when I gave credit for content I shared? It would seem so.
So yet again I went back to Twitter. “Please could I speak to someone, I am eager to understand what I did to result in this penalty. Clearly I do not want this is happen again. Educate me”
This was the response:
Our systems are automated and it seems that they considered you as spam as you were @replying people with a link (which is a legitimate link).
My account was soon after reactivated and several hours later my community was back. The situation resolved but I was still none the wiser. I can understand automation because of the size of Twitter, but it is clearly not intelligent.
Will I continue to give credit where credit is due – Yes – Will I be at risk of being suspended again – It would appear so.
Has this happened to you? How long did it take to get your account was reactivated? What did you learn?