EditorialSocial Media

Twitter Support – My Journey Through Hell

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Twitter support sucks! Okay, let me explain, recently, the number of locked accounts on Twitter has been going up. Some may say, that these are bullies that deserved to have their accounts restricted, maybe as a way to tame their online madness. However, the reality is far from this.

Twitter has been on a roll, locking accounts left, right and centre, why? The reasons vary. It could be that you have been reported and the internal investigation has found you guilty, a copyright claim on a video you share could also have you walk the plank and suspicious activity on your account may be also land you a lockdown.

All these are valid reasons but what happens when the platform’s automated systems go rogue and start kicking out users for no apparent reason. This is exactly what happened to my account about two months from the date of publishing this rant article.

“We have systems that find and remove automated spam Twitter accounts, and it looks like yours was flagged as spam by mistake. This can happen if an account exhibits automated behaviour in violation of our rules. We apologize for the mixup and hope to see back on Twitter soon.” This was Twitter’s message to me, sent approximately 11 days after I lodged a complaint about my account’s suspension.

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Friday, October 9, 2020

On this fateful day, I encountered an unusual issue while trying to access my Twitter account. I was logged out and trying to log back in, a screen asking me to confirm the phone number attached to my account pops up. To do so, I had to enter an OTP (One Time Password) that would be sent to my number and that’s where the issues started.

I wasn’t able to get the OTP due to an error from Twitter that claimed my carrier was not supported. Okay, fine. I am using Safaricom’s new prefix numbers and maybe that could be the issue – or so I thought. At 8:45 PM, on the same day, I appealed my suspension through Twitter’s Help page. Their response?

“We’re writing to let you know that your account has been flagged for unusual behaviour that violates the Twitter Rules, and has been locked until you take the following steps…” Then they proceed to list how I can confirm my phone number through the OTP method, that has already failed and that’s why I was reaching out to them.

At this point, I was still patient, so I responded to them explaining my predicament and even attaching a screenshot. Two days pass by and all I get from Twitter’s support is something my ex-girlfriend had accustomed me to, silent treatment for my sins, it is well. Being resilient, I try accessing my account again, still locked, the carrier is still not supported, and I decide to appeal, again.

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Monday, October 12, 2020

I get another response from Twitter. Oh shoot, it’s another automated reply, giving me instructions on how I can recover my account, with methods that don’t work FYI.

13th October…

14th October…

15th October…

I have officially run out of patience and gone ahead to create a new Twitter account but not without trying one last time to appeal my case.

“Thanks for your report. It looks like this is connected with your original case # 0175956373, so we’ve added it to that first report.”

SERIOUSLY TWITTER?

At this point, I had officially given up until I remembered I know someone who can help – this is what Kenyan refer to as, “kujua msee“. I reached out to my contact, who has access to Twitter support staff and 4 days later, I finally catch a break.

“We’re writing to let you know that your account is now unlocked. We’re sorry for the inconvenience. A little background: We have systems that find and remove automated spam Twitter accounts, and it looks like yours was flagged as spam by mistake. This can happen if an account exhibits automated behaviour in violation of our rules. We apologize for the mixup and hope to see back on Twitter soon.”

October 19, 2020, almost two weeks after I was unceremoniously and erroneously locked out of my beloved Twitter account, I was finally able to log back in. I wasn’t required to verify my phone number or whatever other shenanigans Twitter does to authenticate that I am the real owner of my account and all it took was a lot of patience, frustrations and the all reliable method of having connections.

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Since my issue emerged, I have seen two more cases of unfair suspension, our sister brand accounts have also experienced the same thing. I get it, systems are made by man and they are bound to fail (as much as they shouldn’t) but Twitter really needs to fix their terrible customer support because not everyone will be as “connected” as I was.

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