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August 02, 2008

Twitter Banned Who????

I am a not just a Twitter fan, but more like a Twitter fanatic. I liked to say I suffer from Twitterphilia. In fact in my blogpost yesterday I said that Twitter was my #2 productivity tool, with Delicious being #1.

Today I passed the nice round number of my 5,000th Tweet.

Twitter: 5,000 Tweets!

Well, Twitter is having some problems. I don't know if they know why, but they've inexplicably started to ban and delete accounts for some of their best supporters and apparently random other users. I could go into a lot of details, but suffice it to say I am one of the deleted and banned accounts. Me, and @tibbon, @conniecrosby, @davedelaney, and probably other folk who haven't even discovered it yet.

Several of these deleted and banned accounts are for social medial power users. Of course, since we couldn't get into Twitter to get help, and since Twitter support either did not reply (Friday night, after all) or said we'd have to wait a week for a fix, several of us squawked on other social media services asking our friends and followers to try to get us help. What else could we do? @Tibbon had been trying to get help for seven hours without any useful response. Then when more of us joined the problem page, what hope did we see?

Here is a slideshow of screenshots that illustrate part the tale.

If you want more detail, here is the slide set on Flickr.

Tech - Twitter - "Banned"?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosefirerising/sets/72157606495884625/

Now, some folk are scared - many people are worried that they'll be next. You see that in some of the search engine screenshots. You will notice there are no screenshots of the blog or status pages for Twitter, because they hadn't said anything new for a few days. There was no evidence that Twitter knew this was happening, aside from @Ev's one reply to @Inertial_Voom, saying that he'd check into it.

Here is a discussion on Plurk (one of many!).

"davedelaney pfanderson and tibbon have both been suspended without reason from Twitter too.": http://www.plurk.com/p/21npg

Dave asked for help from Mashable and TechCrunch. Not sure if they saw his request. Meanwhile, Dave and Tibbon and I were all asking for help via GetSatisfaction. You can see the discussion and testimonials here:

GetSatisfaction: Twitter: Account Deleted/Banned With no reasoning: http://getsatisfaction.com/twitter/topics/account_deleted_banned_with_no_reasoning

Really, folk, we are not bad people! We are people who love (or loved) Twitter - Twitter evangelists! I teach about Twitter, I present about it at conferences, I have slideshows in Slideshare about it, I blog about. How can I honestly try to persuade administrators to make use of Twitter for marketing and community outreach when stuff like this happens, the response time is poor, and even if they are working on fixing the problem, they don't TELL US WHAT IS GOING ON?

Worst of all, I'd been complaining for weeks that I wanted to back up my twitterstream and archive my data, but they were limiting access and blocking the archive. I need my archive. I need a way to get at it. And now it has been deleted. Without warning, without discussion, without consent.

Posted by pfa at August 2, 2008 12:09 AM

Comments

Thanks for staying on top of this! I was off-line for the last 18 hours, to return to find my whole account gone and accidentally overwritten with a tweet I sent last night by cell phone (which was a bit oblique and didn't sound like me, but was).

I had no warning by email or otherwise. Rumour is that it was a terms of service violation, but think it is more likely part of Twitter's attempt to clean out spam users. Ironically, I was one of the people actively taking part in the Twitter blog discussion about the attempts at cleaning up spam: http://blog.twitter.com/2008/07/ongoing-battle.html

I am hoping this gets resolved--quite disappointing!

Cheers,
Connie

Posted by: conniecrosby@gmail.com at August 2, 2008 10:45 AM

Thanks, Connie! Dave was up until 1:30AM working on this, and I was up until 2AM. Because of slow or lacking response to the GetSatisfaction page, both of us were milking connections in the social media to get a response.

Now a day later, and things are looking up. I understand your account is still funky. Something to think about - you can get some of your back log of tweets from the search engine.

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=from%3Aconniecrosby

I was talking with @bck and he says he might be able to set up TweetDumpr to grab the most recent 4500 tweets. Not everything but a whole lot more than we can get otherwise.

Posted by: pfa at August 3, 2008 05:03 PM

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