Dear Elon, My Verified Twitter Account Was Hacked and Stolen, and Support Has Gone Silent

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

On Nov. 4, last Friday, my verified Twitter account was compromised and taken over by a foreign hacker. It happened super fast, too. I received an email at 7:30 p.m. notifying me of a “suspicious login” on my account. Before I could even get out of my chair, my account had been completely compromised and taken over.

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I can’t say if it’s connected, but I’m pointing out the date that my account was compromised because it happened about 24 hours after I wrote a story titled, “Elon Musk to Pull a Trump-Level ‘You’re Fired!’ on HALF of Twitter’s Workforce: Report.”

Was I hacked as an act of revenge by a ticked-off former Twitter employee who didn’t like my story on the layoffs? It’s plausible. It could have also been totally coincidental timing; I don’t know.

Even though I had realized I was hacked in just under 10 minutes from when my account was taken over, the hacker had already changed both the email and phone number connected to my verified Twitter account, which locked me out of even being able to change my password, which immediately prevented me from being able to regain access. Yikes. 

I was clearly targeted, and for what reason, I’m not sure. But at that point, I was sure that I would be able to easily regain access to the account with the help of Twitter Support.

Following Twitter’s protocol for recovering compromised accounts that had their email address changed, I filled out a form, and an automated response was generated shortly after that required me to reply with several bits of information to confirm my identity, which I promptly did.

That’s where the situation took a turn. As of this writing, four days later, nothing. Crickets.

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Even worse? I logged on to a backup Twitter account and visited the official Twitter Support page, where support people often respond to requests tweeted at them for these very situations in an attempt to escalate the matter, thinking I might be able to grab someone’s attention while my identity was being stolen and abused by someone in a foreign land.

Here’s the kicker: Twitter Support personnel haven’t been active, not even once, since the mass layoffs on Friday. You can see their responses on the Twitter Support page, and the last activity was one day before the mass layoffs, on Nov. 3.

A quick scroll through Twitter showed a lot of people extremely upset at several issues that aren’t being addressed because Twitter Support appears to have gone radio silent.

There’s nobody at Twitter able to help with even the most pressing matters, including mine. The hacking places my very reputation at stake while I watch in real-time. Were they all fired? How is there not a process in place to protect my reputation and identity from being stolen so quickly and easily?

In other words, it appears that for the time being, I’ve lost access to my verified Twitter account, which is also a paid Twitter Blue subscription (and I was verified before the new Blue verification program), and I evidently have zero recourse to recover my account in a timely manner while the hacker spams my contacts, my Twitter feed, and Lord knows what else with inappropriate images and messages.

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What if the hacker posts threats to officials or, Heaven forbid, he sends out inappropriate messages or images to my followers? The hacker has already posted several weird memes and even briefly changed my account’s name to advertise what appeared to be some kind of crypto venture, and I have no way to prevent or stop it from happening.

That’s messed up. And I’m pissed.

As a conservative politics writer, I’m still on cloud nine over the fact that Elon Musk has taken over. I finally felt like I had a real chance at working on an even playing field with my colleagues on the left, at least not having to worry about censorship and ghost bans and such.

I wouldn’t have even been upset over my Twitter account being hacked and commandeered if there were a way to at least disable the account while it was being investigated and eventually rightfully returned to me. Or something. Shouldn’t there be a mechanism in place to prevent compromised verified accounts from being able to post anything?

I’m pretty confident that Twitter’s systems have the ability to determine that someone logged into a verified U.S. account from Pakistan or wherever and, at the very least, temporarily prevent the account from posting until the verified owner is contacted or verifies that they have lost access to the account.

I mean, it’s silly that such a mechanism doesn’t exist.

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Also, as a paid Twitter Blue subscriber, how in the world is there not any option to report a compromised account to at least pause it before it spreads spam or misinformation?

Adding fuel to the fire, this also happened before one of the most consequential elections in U.S. history. As a political news writer, it would have been, you know, kind of nice to be able to interact on Twitter and post my links and articles for work purposes.

I get that the timing of this, at least for me, couldn’t be worse, given the mass layoffs at Twitter. But one would assume there’d be a person or two to handle extremely sensitive situations like this.

Mr. Musk, I’m a true fan and have been for a long time, and I’m not just kissing your a** just because I want my account back, but this is a real problem. Can you rectify this situation? Today? Please? Thank you in advance.

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