Many of you will remember last November when my main Twitter account was suspended. I wrote about that experience, the great community support and the fact a clear and concise reason was never provided as to why the account was suspended.

Well it has happened again.

Yesterday, shortly after I deactivated and reactivated my 2FA method to change authenticator apps, I was suddenly suspended from using the account. Although the changeover of my 2FA was successful – the suspension still occurred. I don’t think the timing was coincidental because the suspension happened right after I made a security related change to my account.

The other account, @OneObs, which is my long time backup/alternate account that I have had for several years, got caught up in what I believe might have been the automatic do not create other accounts to get around a suspension process as I used it to let folks know about the status of @WinObs. I was prompted to complete a Google captcha, which I did, but it was suspended shortly after that. I suspect Twitter detected a different account being used from the same IP address of the now suspended @WinObs account and that is what triggered that process.

Of course, I have filed appeals with Twitter on both accounts and am currently awaiting their response. According to their reply to the appeal, that process can take 2-3 days.

Even though I am suspended from Twitter, I can still search and see things on the service. I appreciate all of the community support that is once again popping up in the wake of these suspensions. 

I have also seen some comments that this suspension might have something to do with the tech links I share each day through an automated process using Feedly, IFTTT and Buffer that I have been using for several years. That is an understandable comment because at the time of last years suspension, I wrote that those automatic shares could have been the cause of the account suspension at that time.

I had to view it as a possibility because unfortunately, Twitter does not provide a specific reason for suspensions. They actually link you to a page that gives three possible reasons:

  • Spamming hashtags and the same content constantly
  • Account security
  • Abusive tweets or behavior

Just like last year, you can go ahead and wipe off the last one. If you follow me on Twitter you absolutely know that is not who I am when using the service or when you meet me in person for that matter.

The first one around spamming – I believe how and what I share does not fit the profile of spamming users on Twitter. Nothing is repeated multiple times and each is unique. In fact, Buffer will not queue up content that is substantially similar to past tweets that has gone out from the service. That exists because of Twitter’s new rules around spamming the same content. I also share content from this website and my wiki website automatically using features within WordPress. 

As for simply using automatic tweets being against Twitter rules or a reason for suspension, ask Buffer and Hootsuite about their business models and their related services that facilitate the automatic scheduling of content. Even Twitter has TweetDeck which allows you to schedule automatic tweets. 

That brings me to account security. Based on what I was doing at the time the account was suspended, it would seem to be related to my changing 2FA methods and the associated app. Even though it was successful as I previously mentioned, the account was suspended shortly afterwards.

For a good example about twitter’s opportunity to help remediate some of these things without suspending or banning accounts, take a look at what happened to me around the @Win7EndSupport Twitter account. I created it back in January to chronicle the countdown to the end of lifecycle support for Windows 7 and it was suspended for impersonation. If I had added the phrase This account is not associated with Microsoft to its bio – they would not have suspended it for impersonation.

That is a missed opportunity to be customer friendly and sort things out quickly and easily. When I asked about making the correction as noted above to the bio, I was flatly told the account would remain suspended/banned.

Bottom line is that Twitter does very poorly at explaining specifically why these things happen unless you are a big name or controversial account and it is all across the news. For everyday users like many of us, it is a very challenging process to understand what caused it to happen in the first place to help remediate the issue afterwards.

Thanks for all of your support – hopefully this will be resolved very soon. Otherwise, it would seem my journey on Twitter is at an end since the company does not allow the creation of an account in response to a suspension/ban.

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