How do I get a wrongful suspension lifted in fewer than 30 days?
June 11, 2009 9:25 AM   Subscribe

How do I get a wrongful suspension lifted in fewer than 30 days?

How do I get a wrongful suspension lifted in fewer than 30 days?

A client's account was suspended for no reason and it's essential we get it back up asap!

This problem is very serious for us and our client is incredibly upset, as are we. If Twitter has an automated suspension mechanism, they should really get back to you MUCH faster than this since I'm sure they suspend plenty of accounts are are not really spammers!

Please help. We have already replied to the twitter message, but there seems no other way to contact them. Is there another way to contact them immediately?
posted by carofowler to Computers & Internet (14 answers total)
Is the suspended account a Twitter account? Not sure I understand.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 9:39 AM on June 11, 2009

This person supposedly solved a similar Twitter problem through here.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 9:40 AM on June 11, 2009 is Twitter's own page explaining how to appeal a suspension. The phone number there is 415-896-2008, but something tells me that will not be an effective way to appeal this.

Also, your client didn't get suspended "for no reason". Find out the reason (perhaps they had a usage pattern that looks spammy?), and justify it.
posted by toxic at 10:11 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks everyone.

Yes, we have sent a message to twitter contesting the suspension, but we can't afford to have the account suspended for so long and were looking for a better way to deal with this faster, since it is not actually a spam account.

Of course it must have been suspended because of activities that looked spammy but were not actually so, and my point is that since they probably use a bot to pick this stuff up, they should have a better system for validating if the account is actually a spammer before suspending it for 30 days! I'll try calling that phone number too. I was looking for a direct connection to speak to someone at twitter, so that might just do the trick. We'll see. Thanks!

If there are any more ideas, please let me know. I'll keep trying to solve this and keep you updated.

Thanks again all!
posted by carofowler at 1:02 PM on June 11, 2009

Many of the activities that look spammy but suspended users claim "were not actually so" can actually be quite obnoxious to other users. So personally I don't think it's so bad that Twitter suspends people with spammy activity patterns.

I don't think your attitude—that this is all Twitter's fault—is going to help you get your account reinstated more quickly. Quite the contrary, in fact. As toxic said, you should try to understand why it was your account was suspended and make your arguments based on that.
posted by grouse at 2:23 PM on June 11, 2009

Yes, we do understand why it was suspended and are, in fact, arguing based on that - that is, based on the fact that what has been qualified as "spammy" activity on our part is actually not.

This is exactly what my point is. I agree with anti-spam policies as I also hate spam and do not participate in it, especially on behalf of clients.

My stance is actually not that "it's all twitter's fault", as you say. We obviously did something that was picked up by their bot, even though it was legitimate. If you do a google search or check out "Get Satisfaction" there are actually quite a few people that have been wrongfully suspended.

I simply think that twitter should work on having a better process that curbs spamming, but does not unfairly punish people who are, in fact, not spamming. Such as, for instance, having the accounts of people "caught" by the bot but not not very clearly spammers reviewed by real people and more quickly, giving warnings before suspending an account and an opportunity for the account-holder to justify/explain their actions in a much shorter time frame, etc. instead of the current method of immediately suspending the account, sending out an automated email and leaving you to try and figure out what's going on and without being able to talk to a real person and without any access to your account for an entire month.

By posting here, I was hoping to get some advice in how to resolve this issue as soon as possible so that we don't have to stay a month or more without an account until they finally realize that we are not, in fact, spammers.

Thanks again for everyone's help.
posted by carofowler at 3:52 PM on June 11, 2009

I am, in fact, giving you advice on how to resolve this as soon as possible. What I'm saying is that I think making the argument that Twitter should have a different process is a non-starter and that taking that stance may cause further delays in the restoration of your account.

For now, at least, the problem of spam on Twitter is a much bigger one than the problem of people getting suspended without cause. In fact, I know of zero cases where that has happened—a few cases where people have claimed that has happened but did not provide the details necessary for others to judge their claims.
posted by grouse at 4:08 PM on June 11, 2009

At the very least, I would wait until after your account is reinstated before you start arguing for a different process.
posted by grouse at 4:08 PM on June 11, 2009

I'm with Grouse... I don't think attacking the process is going to get your account reinstated any faster than following the directions and filing a support ticket.

I am, however, quite curious as to what you did to draw the suspension. I run a couple of bots on Twitter, at least one of which has a very atypical usage pattern... so this is more than just idle curiosity.
posted by toxic at 4:27 PM on June 11, 2009

Twitter's page at GetSatisfaction, where Twitter help used to be until they moved to ZenDesk, is full of people with similar complaints. You're best off just contacting Twitter at
posted by IndigoRain at 1:27 AM on June 12, 2009

Thanks for your input, guys. I definitely do not intend to "attack" the process as a way to get the account back, since I also believe that it wouldn't help. I was just expressing my belief that it could be better. My main purpose right now is to get the account back as quickly as possible, and I was trying to figure out if anyone could recommend a way to do that faster than by just sending in a request and waiting. That was the main point of the post, and the comment about the process was an opinion, not the main argument.

What I believe may have set off the bot was that the most of the tweets contain links, and because we follow a large number of people quickly. Since our client's service is an industry-specific news aggregator, the tweets are mostly sharing links to the latest news and articles for a very specialized industry that relies on such timely information, and are therefore highly relevant to the industry and to the people we are following. However, there is also interaction with other users and conversational posts in the stream as well.

In terms of the followers, while trying to spread the word about the service, it's very important that we add only highly relevant people, as the service is aimed at a very specialized industry, so we don't just go around adding hundreds of random people; only people who will either likely be very interested in the service, and people whose stream might be relevant and add value for us. We also pay close attention to the following/follower ratio and only unfollowed those who did not follow us back and are therefore not interested in the service AND whose stream would not add value for us (but there are plenty of people who are interested in our service but whose updates are not necessarily relevant to the industry, and streams who do add value for us but are not interested in the service - both of whom we still follow, since both are essential to the business). Our tweets are frequent but not excessive, always up to date and add value, providing the latest and highly relevant news and articles for our followers as well as commentary and interaction.

Once again, I appreciate you all taking the time to reply. Hopefully we'll get this fixed soon!
posted by carofowler at 7:40 AM on June 12, 2009

we don't just go around adding hundreds of random people; only people who will either likely be very interested in the service

There's your problem.

You're following people because you want to let them know about this Very! Relevant! feed of third-party news (with some other things thrown in for good measure). You're hoping that by following them, they'll start reading your twitter feed (and hopefully follow you).

Guess what? You're breaking the rules. Self-promotion by following people is (rightly) considered spamming (sort of like self-linking here at MeFi -- no matter how relevant it is to the MeFi community, self-promotion on the front page will automatically get you booted, and doing it in the comments will sometimes get you booted.)

From the Twitter Rules: [Spamming can be defined as...] "If you repeatedly follow and unfollow people, whether to build followers or to garner more attention for your profile"

Following someone on twitter means "I want to see what you're posting". It does not mean "I want you to see what I'm posting... commercially" or "I want to make you aware of my profile". It's about your behavior. It's not about your content. It's got nothing to do with who you're targeting (and clearly, enough of the people that you followed clicked on the 'block this person' link to attract the attention of the de-spammer process).

The place to make people aware of your twitter feed is outside of twitter. Inside of twitter, your feed should be promoted by other people, retweeting your Highly! Relevant! Timely! messages about your industry.

Or, of course, your feed could stand on its own. When people search for news items relevant to your industry, they're going to find you and want to follow you, right? Then they're going to tell other people in the industry, right?
posted by toxic at 9:19 AM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]

[T]he comment about the process was an opinion
[T]he fact that what has been qualified as "spammy" activity on our part is actually not.

The line about what qualifies as "spammy" is an opinion, also.
posted by toxic at 9:25 AM on June 12, 2009

Thanks for all your advice. We of course do not intend to spam anyone and are in favor of all anti-spam policies as they serve to protect users of a service from those trying to abuse it. Any actions we have taken on twitter were taken very conscientiously and with the express intention of not interrupting, bothering or "spamming". If our actions are considered doing so anyway, we will of course, refrain and hopefully get this cleared up soon so we can continue to be a part of the twitter community.

I really appreciate all your help, advice and resources!
posted by carofowler at 11:49 AM on June 12, 2009

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