News & Politics

I Wrote a Post Critical of Twitter's New Rules-GUESS WHAT HAPPENED NEXT

In case you missed it, I wrote a post yesterday about Twitter’s new behavior rules and the fact that they never really tell anyone they suspend which rules are being broken. As I usually do, I hit Twitter to promote it, this time adding what I thought was a tongue-in-cheek remark:

I tweeted my usual late-night blend of ridiculous content uneventfully until I went to bed. When I tried to tweet this morning, I was locked out of my account. They do that when someone tries to hack you and it’s happened to me several times before so I wasn’t too worried. I knew the procedure, and went through it to regain access.

That’s when things got weird.

Despite having used two separate verification codes texted to me by Twitter — one to change my password and one to log back on after — I was told that there was a technical problem. It was odd, but not disturbing. This went on for several minutes.

Once I was finally back in, however, I found that I was unable to tweet. If I tried from the Twitter web page I got a message saying “Something went wrong.” There were two different messages on Tweetdeck though. If I attempted to retweet the error message said “Unknown Error” and if I tried to tweet I got this:

My tweeting habits and content haven’t changed in the decade I’ve been using the platform. I did do a purge of people who aren’t following me back last night, but I’ve been doing that regularly since late 2008. It’s regular Twitter maintenance.

The only real new behavior variable is the post I wrote criticizing Twitter’s application of the rules.

Twitter does have some cover here because they haven’t really suspended me. My account is still up, I just can’t do anything with it and anyone checking gets a message informing them that it is restricted.

Many of you are probably thinking, “So what, who cares about Twitter?”

I’m not on Twitter because I need online friends, I’m there because it has essentially become my publicist in the last decade. It is a business thing for me. When I’m setting up meetings and gigs I am invariably asked (within the first minute or so) about how many Twitter followers I have. If I am unable to use my Twitter account, it negatively impacts my work both directly and indirectly.

If you are a conservative who doesn’t even like Twitter, you should still be concerned. The point of my post yesterday was that the rules are vague and it appears that only conservatives have to play by them.

For those unfamiliar with my Twitter presence, let me just say that I am occasionally not nice. OK — often not nice. However, it’s been that way for nine and a half years and almost 200K tweets.

It might be sheer coincidence that the first real problem Twitter has ever had with my account came just after I wrote the critical post, but I don’t believe in coincidence.