2 min read

Getting banned from Twitter for no reason

A mobile phone displaying the Twitter logo inside a prohibitory traffic sign
Photo by Jeremy Zero / Unsplash

When I joined Twitter in May 2012, I was unsure what I could get out of it. Today, I can say that I was exposed to many tech folks and ideas that I would have never heard of without Twitter.

The last three jobs I had came from the same process. A tweet sparks my interest about a company. I keep reading about them for a couple of weeks and then apply.

Twitter was my professional network.

The Event

On July 20th, I was in the middle of reading about a new open source project discovered on Twitter. And here it appeared. The alert about being suspended.

A notification on Twitter saying "Your account is suspended"
No more Twitter for ya...

My first thought was searching tweets about a Twitter bug... which I couldn't do due the ban. This is where I understood it was gonna be painful, I was too reliant on Twitter. And Twitter was done with me.

They sent an email to make the decision official and to give vague information. After trying to appeal the decision through the help articles, I received a new email with the reason: Impersonation.

I doesn't make sense because I have been tweeting as myself for the last 9 years.

An email from twitter saying that I am in violation of the Impersonation policy.
Looks like I am impersonating myself...

Usually my first thought would be to ask for help on Twitter, you see my problem.

Tweet screenshot from me saying "The best feeling is using documentation you wrote a few weeks ago"
For reference, the only tweet I published on the day of the ban.

Moving away for over-relying on Twitter

In retrospect I feel like I over-invested on Twitter. I should have posted more content on an independent blog and built my email list (disclaimer: I work at Ghost).

I can still log-in to sites using the Twitter OAuth flow, but I'm afraid this is might break soon. I'll be more careful about using OAuth in the future!

As for news, I'll continue reading the Hacker News headlines (/front) to avoid missing big things!

I will miss catching on friends and curated strangers on Twitter. There is no substitution for that.

Can you help?

If you know someone at Twitter, please tell them I actually am myself.

I used to be @thibpat on Twitter and I would love to continue participating in the community.

Edit: It's July 23rd and I'm back!

After my 4th appeal and some help through a friend of friend, Twitter is welcoming me again.

An email from Twitter saying that I don't violate Twitter Rules
Yay !