“Your Twitter account has been suspended.”
DA DA DAAA!
NO ONE wants to hear that… like, EVER… ? ?
Yet, with Twitter continuously changing the Twitter Rulebook (and, by the way, it’s YOUR, Twitter user’s, responsibility to stay on top of those changes!), it’s nearly impossible to keep your Twitter account squeaky clean.
I know exactly how you feel. I had not one, but several Twitter accounts suspended at one point or another.
Full disclosure: some of my Twitter account suspensions didn’t exactly come as a surprise… I knew I was playing with fire! ??♀️?
Learn more about my Twitter account suspensions in the best Twitter tools post.
Whether you knew you were breaking Twitter rules that got your Twitter account suspended or not (that’s between you and you! 😉 ), let’s take a look at
- several common cases of why Twitter accounts get suspended,
- what (if anything) you can do to get your account back,
- what to do to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Sorry, Kids: Their Turf, Their Terms
What, on earth?…
You are right, this doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with your Twitter account suspension.
However, since humans now have a SHORTER attention span than your childhood friend, the goldfish (I know, right?!!! We ought to be ashamed of ourselves! ??), something I’d normally save for the end of the post has to be said now – while I have your FULL ATTENTION.
Yes, it’s THAT important!
Still with me? Or are you completely distracted by my masterful content repurposing?… (in this case, summing up the very long Microsoft study in two images.)
Wait, where were we? I’m so distracted… ?? Oh, yes, something really important…
When using third-party platforms (any website you don’t own, in other words), you are completely at their mercy.
You are not ‘entitled’ to anything.
Their platform. Their rules. Their last word.
If they were to close their doors tomorrow (like Google+ just did), everything you’ve built on that platform is done for.
Thank goodness, a platform closing down for good is extremely rare.
But what about…
- Google algorithm changes?
- Facebook Zero reach?
- Twitter API changes?
Speaking of Google algorithm changes, did you know Google changes it around 500–600 times per year? ??
No one can protect you from platform changes. All you can do is suck it up and adapt.
So, if your Twitter account is suspended, you’ll find yourself at the mercy of a random Twitter employee to plead your case to. And, let me tell you, they haven’t been that merciful, as of late…
Now… when I said, “All you can do is suck it up and adapt“, I was only half-serious.
There IS something you can and SHOULD do to protect yourself.
When using ANY third-party platform (Twitter, Facebook, SlideShare, Medium, whatever), your goal is to bring people you engage with back to your site as quickly (but spam-free-ly!!!) as possible, then build those relationships on your own turf and terms.
That’s precisely why I wasn’t crying when my Twitter accounts got suspended. At least, I milked them for all the website traffic I could before I was busted. 😉
(Details in the best Twitter tools post mentioned above; take a look at it when you are done here.)
Alrighty; moving on.
Was Your Twitter Account Suspended Because…
You know that message you got when your Twitter account got suspended?
It went something like this:
The following behaviors are violations of the Twitter Rules:
- Creating serial and/or multiple accounts with overlapping use cases
- Cross-posting Tweets or links across accounts
- Aggressive following, particularly through automated means
As such, these accounts will remain suspended.
Gut-wrenching, I know.
Let’s see if your Twitter account was suspended or restricted due to…
Was your Twitter account suspended due to repeatedly posting duplicate content to one or multiple accounts you run?
You used to read it everywhere, “Post your tweets multiple times to make sure your followers actually see your content!”
Oh, yes, the good ol’ golden standard of making yourself visible on Twitter…
No longer the case.
You may not post duplicative or substantially similar Tweets on one account or over multiple accounts you operate.
So, whether you used to:
- post the same tweet to multiple accounts you run,
- schedule/recycle the same tweet to go out hours or days apart
…it’s now against Twitter rules.
This one definitely hit HARD.
Take a look at this Twitter forum thread:
A Twitter employee replies:
Yet another question follows:
To that, Twitter says, “Sorry, we aren’t here to entertain every question about our policies.”
There you have it.
A whole list of don’ts and only one way to do:
- craft each tweet thoughtfully,
- post it manually (once),
- then rinse and repeat.
Hey, I am all for maintaining/re-establishing quality content on Twitter, but realistically?… who has the time to market on Twitter ‘to a T’?
But then again… if more and more marketers stop using Twitter to promote their businesses, wouldn’t that create a great opportunity for those of us who don’t mind putting some elbow grease into it? ???
If you do want to share the same post across multiple profiles or to repeat it on your own profile, Twitter recommends that you retweet your original post.
Buuuuut… not too much 😉 , because ?
Another way to get into trouble with Twitter and get your account suspended is:
Was your Twitter account suspended due to liking and/or retweeting too many tweets at once?
Doing it ‘aggressively‘, in other words.
And it’s up to Twitter to decide whether what you are doing is aggressive or not. How convenient, right?
I once had a brand new Twitter account suspended within an hour of its creation for that very reason: I engaged with (liked, @mentioned) and retweeted too many posts within that hour.
Truthfully, what I was trying to do was to make my account look less ghost-towny! Since I didn’t want to tweet out a bunch of Traffic Generation Café posts (that was too spammy for my taste, ironically!), I decided to spread some retweeting/engagement wealth to the people I had started to follow.
Alas, that was exactly what got me banned! ??
So, how do you stay out of this kind of Twitter trouble?
Let’s say you go to your Twitter timeline to do that manual thing Twitter wants us to do – converse, engage, relate, be present.
Don’t just go nuts and like every tweet you see!
Give yourself a limit – let’s say to like 5 tweets, to retweet 5 tweets with a thoughtful comment to go with each one, and to share one of your blog posts in-between.
Better yet, do this 2-3 times per day.
OR better better yet, establish an easy-to-follow daily Twitter routine to make sure you make the most of Twitter within the least amount of time.
Read How to Manage Twitter Like a Pro [Your Daily Twitter Routine] to… well, learn how to manage Twitter like a pro 😉 !
Onto the next most common reason to get your Twitter account suspended.
Was your Twitter account suspended due to aggressively following and unfollowing Twitter users?
…if you have followed and/or unfollowed a large number of of accounts in a short time period, particularly by automated means (aggressive following or follower churn).
And, as if that was unclear in any way, here’s more:
Following/unfollowing users was always a huge part of my Twitter marketing strategy.
So much so that I don’t mind going a bit gray hat on this one every once in while.
The next way to earn a Twitter account suspension is closely related to automatically following/unfollowing users.
Was your Twitter account suspended due to using or promoting any tools to automatically add Twitter followers or engagements?
…if you sell, purchase, or attempt to artificially inflate account interactions (such as followers, Retweets, likes, etc.); and
…if you use or promote third-party services or apps that claim to get you more followers, Retweets, or likes (such as follower trains, sites promising “more followers fast”, or any other site that offers to automatically add followers or engagements to your account or Tweets).
Totally get it.
It’s one thing to use a Twitter automation tool to make your life of getting more followers easier (but you still have to do the work!!!), and it’s something completely different and definitely spammy to outright BUY followers, Retweets, likes, etc.
This one is easy: DON’T DO IT.
Was your Twitter account suspended due to abusing trending topics or hashtags?
…if you post multiple updates to a trending or popular topic with an intent to subvert or manipulate the topic to drive traffic or attention to unrelated accounts, products, services, or initiatives.
Say, you create a tweet, then add a popular/trending hashtag to it – not because it’s relevant, but because you want your tweet to be seen by the people following the topic.
That example is a clearly spammy and unacceptable way to market your business.
I am sure most of you don’t do that, but there are many other ways to abuse trending topics… be assured that Twitter is monitoring that one very closely.
Was your Twitter account suspended due to posting affiliate links?
…if you post misleading, deceptive, or malicious links (e.g., affiliate links, links to malware/clickjacking pages, etc.).
Social media is NOT a storefront. Not the right place to make a sale… unless you are paying for ads, of course.
Bring your followers back to your site. THEN convert them.
Speaking of affiliate marketing, read my recommendations on the best affiliate marketing programs to promote.
Twitter Account Suspension and Other Ways to Get Spanked
Now comes the hard part: paying for your Twitter indiscretions.
I’ve got some good…. aaaaaand some bad news for you.
The good news is Twitter is genuinely trying to make the platform better for everyone.
And they ‘aren’t there to getcha…‘
Should they feel that your otherwise healthy Twitter account is getting into a bit of trouble with Twitter rules, they won’t just ban you, I promise.
They’ll try to warn you first (most often, send you an email notification), then might give you a slap on the wrist.
Twitter Might Require Tweet Removal
Twitter wants to ensure that:
…we are not being overly harsh with an otherwise healthy account that made a mistake and violated our Rules.
If Twitter determines that your tweet violated the Twitter Rules:
- They’ll send you an email to let you know which tweet is in violation and which specific rule it violated.
- You then can either remove the offending tweet or
- …appeal it if you believe Twitter made an error.
(Hmmm… Remove it and count your blessings!!! ?)
While Twitter is waiting for you to remove the tweet, they’ll replace the original content with a notice stating that the tweet is no longer available because it violated Twitter Rules.
This notice will stay for 14 days after the tweet was removed.
Twitter Might Place an Account in Read-Only Mode
Once again, this slap on the wrist is reserved for an otherwise healthy account that is ‘in the middle of an abusive episode‘, as Twitter puts it.
In this case, Twitter might temporarily make your account read-only, limiting your ability to Tweet, Retweet, or Like content until ‘calmer heads prevail‘.
If that’s your punishment, then:
- You’ll still be able to read your timeline.
- You’ll only be able to send Direct Messages to your followers.
- Others will still be able to see and engage with the account.
The duration of this enforcement action can range from 12 hours to 7 days, depending on the nature of the violation.
Twitter Might Make Your Tweets and/or Account Less Visible
This is something that’s referred to as ‘restricting or limiting an account or content’ throughout Twitter Rules, yet there’s no specific section that explains what it is.
From what I could gather, it sounds like Twitter might limit (a.k.a not show) your account or tweets in search results, replies, and on timelines.
The only other piece of info we have is:
Limiting Tweet visibility depends on a number of signals about the nature of the interaction and the quality of the content.
Twitter Might Make You Verify Your Account
This helps Twitter weed out violators who are abusing Twitter multiple accounts rules – operating those to spam Twitter users, for instance.
If Twitter suspects you are running one of those Twitter spam rings, they will lock your account (remove it from follower counts, Retweets, and likes) and require you to verify account ownership with a phone number or email address.
Twitter Account Suspension or Permanent Suspension
Compared to a Twitter account suspension, all previous enforcement actions were just that: slaps on the rist.
Account suspensions happen if Twitter determines that a person
- has violated Twitter Rules in a particularly egregious way,
- has repeatedly violated them even after receiving notifications from Twitter.
When Twitter suspends an account, they notify the account owner via email and explain which policy or policies he/she has violated and which content is in violation.
What to Do If Your Twitter Account Is Suspended
That’s the good news: if you believe Twitter made a mistake, you can appeal your account suspension.
The bad news is if you appeal is denied, your Twitter account suspension becomes permanent.
Twitter will remove your account from global view AND you will not be allowed to create new accounts.
Yes, it’s very sad and very final…
Bookmark this post and use it as a guide of what not to do to remain in good standing with Twitter.
It’s definitely a lot easier to follow Twitter rules than to deal with a Twitter account suspension!