Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

My Twitter account was suspended – then it wasn't

Last week, I finished work on the second book in the “How to Revise Your Writing Like a Pro” series. Because I’ve shared updates about my progress with it on Twitter, I logged into Twitter on Friday evening to announce that Book Two, and thus all three books, was done. Imagine my shock when I logged in at Twitter and found out that, gasp! My account was suspended! Gone were all of my followers, all of the people I was following – yet my tweet count of over 4,000 was still showing. Since I had the option of filing an appeal, I went ahead and did that. I also responded to the email from Twitter about it, asking if they would provide an explanation as to why they suspended my account.

But since it was a Friday night and a holiday weekend, I did not expect to hear from them until Tuesday.

The next thing I did was log in at Facebook to post on my status that I have NOT unfollowed anyone on Twitter – because a lot of people I follow on Twitter are on my Friends list on Facebook, and I didn’t want anyone to think that I unfollowed them on purpose – it’s just that my account had been suspended.

By Sunday, which was Labor Day, I was getting direct messages from peeps I’ve followed on Twitter. I saw the first four come in on my phone and I was like, What the heck? How can someone direct message me if my account was suspended? But after I got over 30 DM’s, with more coming in, I got on the PC to find out what was going on.

Apparently, my Twitter account had been reinstated on a holiday, and I was getting messages from people I followed that were automated “thank you” messages. Hmm.

Well, on one hand, I was glad my account was reinstated. I was especially glad all of the people I followed were returned, as well as my followers. On the other hand, however, I never got an explanation why my Twitter account was suspended, and I’d really like to know why. It’s not like I was TRYING to get into trouble – though I have a tendency of getting into trouble without even trying. *rolls eyes* Maybe it was that person I recently unfriended on Facebook trying to get back at me? I unfriended her because I was tired of her negative and snarky comments. Maybe she decided to get back at me by complaining to Twitter for some violation or another? Or maybe it was somebody at Twitter headquarters who was just having a bad day and decided to suspend a random number of Twitter accounts? 

I’d really like to know what it was that set them off so that I don’t do it again. As it is, I’m feeling a bit too nervous to even USE Twitter again, because I might end up doing something they don’t like and end up getting suspended again.

When I appealed the suspension, they sent me a link of the “Twitter rules.” I went over the rules, as well as the other pages covering guidelines and best practices. These are the only things from those links that I could think may have been the reason.

Recently, I followed a bunch of peeps in one day. I do this sometimes. I get followers that are interesting, or I learn about groups I'd really like to read tweets from, so I go a bit crazy following all of these accounts at once. It has definitely happened, but I've heard that Twitter doesn't like that. Maybe that was it?

Sometimes, I will go through my list of followers. If people who I am so-so interested in have unfollowed me, and they are just a person but not a company or charity (big difference), then I unfollow that person. I am aware that some people on Twitter will follow someone just to get a follow-back, then unfollow that person. I don't want to play that game. So I tend to unfollow quite a bunch of peeps in one day if they no longer follow me. Maybe that was what got me in trouble?

Following churn
A bit of research on the Twitter rules introduced me to the phrase "following churn." That's when someone follows, unfollows, then refollows someone. I saw that and was like, that's a thing? Wow. Well, I have actually done this, but not to "draw attention to my page," like Twitter says. I am just a very indecisive person. But maybe my indecisiveness is what got my account suspended?

This one rankled my nerves. In the past, I have tried sharing links from my website on Twitter. Now, this is MY website, and not someone else's. And it's certainly not spam! Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't that allowed? Isn't that the whole point of Twtter, to share your links with others in your network? But I have had Twitter block such tweets in the past, labeling them as spam. (Sigh. I don't think Twitter likes me.) So maybe THAT was it?

Or maybe they thought I was impersonating the REAL Dawn Colclasure? Or maybe they thought that I am a robot?

But I am a real person. I am the REAL Dawn Colclasure. And I was just trying to use Twitter like everybody else – even though it’s not exactly my “thing” and I don’t use it as often as most people. (I use it at least once a week. I am on Facebook more than Twitter. And, in fact, I have a Facebook fan page for my “author stuff.”) I am just one person, one author, who was using Twitter for self-promo and to connect with other people. I am not trying to hurt anyone. I am not trying to draw attention to myself or my page. I am not trying to scare anybody, threaten anybody or cause anyone to lose any sleep. I am just one person using Twitter like the thousands of other people.

And now I see how easily all that can be taken away. Now I see that maybe I should not rely on having that so much anymore, because it really doesn’t seem to be something I can actually hold on to. Without warning, without notice, it was taken away. Just like that.

Well, all good things must come to an end. I just think it would be nice if I was the one who gets to decide whether it will end or not.

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  • At 8:02 PM , Blogger Lillie Ammann said...

    I had a similar experience, except I did an email of explanation. It was an apology that my account was inadvertently suspended along with a bunch of spam accounts. The message said they try very hard to suspend only abusive accounts, but occasionally accounts that shouldn't be suspended get caught up and suspended in error. So that's probably what happened to you.

  • At 11:24 AM , Blogger Dawn Wilson said...

    Hi, Lillie. Nice to see a comment from you on my blog again. :) Thank you for sharing that with me. It makes sense. Ever since this happened, I have been more careful about my tweets and what I do on Twitter because I don't want to inadvertently break a rule like I have in the past. (Like I said, I get in trouble without even trying. LOL) Things have been pretty smooth sailing so far. I am sorry that happened to you, too, but I'm glad they reinstated your account. Just one of those slip-ups that comes with using social media, I suppose. Take care.


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