I am a not just a Twitter fan, but more like a Twitter fanatic. I liked to say I suffer from Twitterphilia. In fact in my blogpost yesterday I said that Twitter was my #2 productivity tool, with Delicious being #1.
Today I passed the nice round number of my 5,000th Tweet.
Well, Twitter is having some problems. I don’t know if they know why, but they’ve inexplicably started to ban and delete accounts for some of their best supporters and apparently random other users. I could go into a lot of details, but suffice it to say I am one of the deleted and banned accounts. Me, and @tibbon, @conniecrosby, @davedelaney, and probably other folk who haven’t even discovered it yet.
Several of these deleted and banned accounts are for social medial power users. Of course, since we couldn’t get into Twitter to get help, and since Twitter support either did not reply (Friday night, after all) or said we’d have to wait a week for a fix, several of us squawked on other social media services asking our friends and followers to try to get us help. What else could we do? @Tibbon had been trying to get help for seven hours without any useful response. Then when more of us joined the problem page, what hope did we see?
Here is a slideshow of screenshots that illustrate part the tale.
If you want more detail, here is the slide set on Flickr.
Tech – Twitter – “Banned”?: http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosefirerising/sets/72157606495884625/
Now, some folk are scared – many people are worried that they’ll be next. You see that in some of the search engine screenshots. You will notice there are no screenshots of the blog or status pages for Twitter, because they hadn’t said anything new for a few days. There was no evidence that Twitter knew this was happening, aside from @Ev’s one reply to @Inertial_Voom, saying that he’d check into it.
Here is a discussion on Plurk (one of many!).
“davedelaney pfanderson and tibbon have both been suspended without reason from Twitter too.”: http://www.plurk.com/p/21npg
Dave asked for help from Mashable and TechCrunch. Not sure if they saw his request. Meanwhile, Dave and Tibbon and I were all asking for help via GetSatisfaction. You can see the discussion and testimonials here:
GetSatisfaction: Twitter: Account Deleted/Banned With no reasoning: http://getsatisfaction.com/twitter/topics/account_deleted_banned_with_no_reasoning
Really, folk, we are not bad people! We are people who love (or loved) Twitter – Twitter evangelists! I teach about Twitter, I present about it at conferences, I have slideshows in Slideshare about it, I blog about. How can I honestly try to persuade administrators to make use of Twitter for marketing and community outreach when stuff like this happens, the response time is poor, and even if they are working on fixing the problem, they don’t TELL US WHAT IS GOING ON?
Worst of all, I’d been complaining for weeks that I wanted to back up my twitterstream and archive my data, but they were limiting access and blocking the archive. I need my archive. I need a way to get at it. And now it has been deleted. Without warning, without discussion, without consent.