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How to Get Banned from Twitter

One of the Twitter personalities I have been following is Sam Freedom who found one day his account had been suspended. It turns out from support there are several reasons this happens, mainly:

  1. you’ve followed a large number of people in a short amount of time
  2. there is a small number of followers compared to number of people you’re following
  3. the updates consist mainly of links and not personal updates
  4. a large number of users blocking the profile and writing in with spam complaints

Now, I don’t know the details, so I don’t know why this particular case happened, but it seems the first three could apply to over half of the people I follow.

What do you do when you first join Twitter? You add all your friends then go around following people that look interesting or fun. So most of us are guilty of #1 already in our first days of being a Twitter user.

Again with #2, if you are new or not particularly well known, for quite a while the people you follow is going to be a far higher number than those that follow you.

I can fully understand the last two. Most people want to see human conversation at least a good percentage of the time rather than 100% spam or links, but they do not seem to be clamping down on the links so much. Many, many bloggers are using software to post their feed right to Twitter for promotion. Some big blogs. Rather than being junked, they are gathering loads of followers.

People are using Twitter in a variety of ways, especially bloggers, far removed from what Twitter intended.

For me #4 must be the overriding factor. If you do all the above but get zero complaints I suggest you should be fine. After all, if you don’t like someone stop following them, right?

That being said, it seems the advice should be to grow organically and make sure you mix chatty updates in with your links.

You don’t want to put lots of effort into your Twitter account only to find it doesn’t work any more!

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Comments

  1. Many people are new and still figuring out Twitter.

    Chris H’s framework of Look, Listen, Join, Lead would be a good starting place for those unfamiliar with Twitter, rather than jumping in with both feet and making a mess.

    Get the rhythm, then start dancing.

  2. Many people are new and still figuring out Twitter.

    Chris H’s framework of Look, Listen, Join, Lead would be a good starting place for those unfamiliar with Twitter, rather than jumping in with both feet and making a mess.

    Get the rhythm, then start dancing.

  3. Hi Chris,

    Concise and well said. For clarity sake, I assure you I was in no way, shape or form spamming. Not that I’m against it altogether, mind you, but my main activity was alerting followers that I had a new blog out.

    Now, if Twitter doesn’t find that more in line with making itself appear more USEFUL to those who are still scratching their heads, I doubt 10000 chirps about someone’s favorite bagel shop is going to be any better. πŸ˜‰

    In any case, I had a few detractors who just didn’t like me due to my particular style of blogging and, once again, they proved that dimwits on the support staff (anywhere) can be manipulated by a false spam allegation.

    After all, you see my account is turned back on.

    Best wishes,
    Sam

  4. Hi Chris,

    Concise and well said. For clarity sake, I assure you I was in no way, shape or form spamming. Not that I’m against it altogether, mind you, but my main activity was alerting followers that I had a new blog out.

    Now, if Twitter doesn’t find that more in line with making itself appear more USEFUL to those who are still scratching their heads, I doubt 10000 chirps about someone’s favorite bagel shop is going to be any better. πŸ˜‰

    In any case, I had a few detractors who just didn’t like me due to my particular style of blogging and, once again, they proved that dimwits on the support staff (anywhere) can be manipulated by a false spam allegation.

    After all, you see my account is turned back on.

    Best wishes,
    Sam

  5. Hey there,

    just a clarification, we never ban users. πŸ™‚

    What we do is flag certain users who are adding very large numbers of friends (i.e., if you’re adding an average number of friends, you’re OK and won’t get flagged). Essentially, there are extremely spammy users and bots that try to friend every account they possibly can – sometimes it’s possible for a real person to trip these flags, but unlikely (you have to be following a pretty significant number of people over your number of followers).

    I hope that helps! We’re not trying to be evil; it’s just a spam control mechanism to address concerns that users have had in the past.

  6. Hey there,

    just a clarification, we never ban users. πŸ™‚

    What we do is flag certain users who are adding very large numbers of friends (i.e., if you’re adding an average number of friends, you’re OK and won’t get flagged). Essentially, there are extremely spammy users and bots that try to friend every account they possibly can – sometimes it’s possible for a real person to trip these flags, but unlikely (you have to be following a pretty significant number of people over your number of followers).

    I hope that helps! We’re not trying to be evil; it’s just a spam control mechanism to address concerns that users have had in the past.

  7. I agree with you completely Chris.

  8. I agree with you completely Chris.

  9. “the updates consist mainly of links and not personal updates ”

    I wish they would ban them… I hate getting links on twitter. Its like, “I know you just updated your blog I have it in my RSS reader”!

  10. “the updates consist mainly of links and not personal updates ”

    I wish they would ban them… I hate getting links on twitter. Its like, “I know you just updated your blog I have it in my RSS reader”!

  11. Thanks for the post. I’m one of those that mainly has blog updates for my tweets. I use the Twitter Tools plugin for my blog so each time I post it shows up in Twitter automatically.

    @Mosley – Remember if you don’t like what you are getting from someone, stop following them.

  12. Thanks for the post. I’m one of those that mainly has blog updates for my tweets. I use the Twitter Tools plugin for my blog so each time I post it shows up in Twitter automatically.

    @Mosley – Remember if you don’t like what you are getting from someone, stop following them.

  13. @Jim – Great quote and so true πŸ™‚

    @Sam – Glad to see you are back Twittering πŸ™‚

    @Blaine – That’s good to know, thanks! πŸ™‚

    @Garrett – Good πŸ™‚

    @Mosley – I like a mix, some of my coolest link finds have been on Twitter, and I like to get early access to stuff that is time-sensitive.

    @Robert – Yeah, I have a plugin on my personal blog that does a similar thing

  14. @Jim – Great quote and so true πŸ™‚

    @Sam – Glad to see you are back Twittering πŸ™‚

    @Blaine – That’s good to know, thanks! πŸ™‚

    @Garrett – Good πŸ™‚

    @Mosley – I like a mix, some of my coolest link finds have been on Twitter, and I like to get early access to stuff that is time-sensitive.

    @Robert – Yeah, I have a plugin on my personal blog that does a similar thing