Panic! My Twitter Account Suspension Story
First, if you are here looking for information regarding the recent news of lawsuits and account suspensions related to TweetAddr and other Twitter automation tools, be sure to continue reading THIS article, because it’s information is HIGHLY relevant to your Twitter account sustainability!
I have had my Twitter account now for almost two and a half years, and with an effort since the first day toward providing as much value as I could, I have gained 27,488 followers, and as a result, many solid relationships, customers, and business partners.
I am careful to tweet out 95% content, inspirational quotes, plenty of reTweets, and conversation, and only rarely ever just an affiliate link.
So it was with shock and dismay that I discovered my Twitter account suspension the other day.
There was a time about a year and a half ago, along with thousands of others, that my account was suspended due to bot attacks at Twitter. But that case was different. I knew it was only temporary, and I was in good company, with some very well known Twitter accounts in the mix.
But stopping by as I do every few days to check on my account, I was shocked to see the little pink bar across my Twitter profile saying my account had been suspended:
This time I was a bit more worried, since I had not been able to find any news of mass suspensions in the first few minutes.
What could have happened? I don’t depend on Twitter for traffic as much as I had in the beginning, but certainly I was ill prepared to deal with the loss of so many great followers by a Twitter account suspension!
Twitter Account Suspension is Based on Some (Even Obscure) Rules
I had knowledge of the basic Twitter Account Rules of which some are obvious, such as you should not follow large amount of users in a short amount of time.
And, as one might expect, if a large number of people are blocking you, you may also incur a Twitter account suspension.
You should DEFINITELY read these rules from top to bottom if you plan on investing time in your Twittering, to be sure that you understand them, and that your efforts with using Twitter aren’t lost on a Twitter account suspension.
But, there are some rules that I did NOT know existed, until I got the email back from Twitter upon my submitting my query concerning my Twitter account suspension.
This was what ‘theCaptain’ told me in the reply I received:
“Your account was suspended for violations of the Twitter Rules:
It appears you might have signed up for some third-party services which are posting affiliate links through your account. The Automation Rules & Best Practices page has more information about our policies surrounding affiliate advertising:
I have un-suspended your account now. Please take the following actions to revoke access to any third-parties that may be causing your account to violate the Twitter Rules:
â€¢ Check your Applications tab at http://twitter.com/settings/applications and revoke the access privileges of any third party applications that are posting violating updates to your accounts.”
Well first of all, I had never seen these rules on Twitter Automation and Affiliate links! I don’t even know where I would find them from the first rules page as there is no apparent link or header from there.
But it sure does shed light on my issues.
First, I did have several third party applications which allowed posts to my account. Services such as “Triberr” (a free Twitter content syndication tribe), posted content on behalf of other people automatically.
I had had reservations about Triberr in the past because I could not know how that tribe would grow, who would end up in it (although it is invitation only), and what they might be posting. But I hadn’t thought to actively cancel it.
But on receiving this email, I revoked access for almost everything that had write access to my Twitter account, including these services.
Although I had never set up auto-syndication of my Twitter account for OnlyWire. or for TribePro as well, for the same reasons, I did not have control over what others might submit, and my Twitter account is important to my business. I want to protect my followers from spam as much as I can.
But there was still one caveat that I was missing, which I didn’t discover that until I had completed a thorough investigation of everything leading up to the time of my Twitter account suspension.
Make Sure You Avoid Twitter Account Suspension
Since I was also aware that part of the Twitter policies are not to use repeated Tweets, and I do use TweetAddr to schedule my tweets, I did re-examine my frequency and my content.
And have stopped using it completely as of today, with the news of lawsuits and account suspensions related to this and other similar Twitter automation tools.
I have so many tweets, that I believed any repeated posts would not be close enough in time to cause my Twitter account suspension; a repeat would be unlikely within a span of several days.Â I read through every post in my list of over 200, although I was somewhat distracted at the time, someone had called…..
So just after re-instating the automated Tweet function in TweetAddr, I did one last check; a close examination of my last tweet prior to my Twitter account suspension
It was here that I believe I finally hit upon the culprit, only apparent to me after having read the obscure Affiliate section of the Twitter rules.
My last tweet prior to my suspension was to a bit.ly shortened affiliate link of my own, from Clickbank.
This type of link shortening is never recommended, and it was one I had overlooked since I’d stopped using them over a year and a half ago.
When you shorten a Clickbank or similar affiliate link with bit.ly, you get a spam warning when you click on it like this:
I think it is likely that this could have been what triggered my Twitter account suspension! I had long overlooked this remaining bit.ly shortened affiliate link, and this can easily be picked up by Twitter’s account management bots.
So as of my resulting re-examination of my tweets going out, I realized I had even personally violated the Twitter Affiliate link rules. However, I’m not sure it was as much the automation as the masking of this link causing it to appear as ‘Spam’.
Lessons Learned About Twitter Account Suspension
Aside from carefully reading ALL of the rules to avoid Twitter account suspension. But in particular,
- Do Not use link shorteners to mask affiliate links
- Do Not allow third party applications access to your Twitter account, especially for automated posting services who will submit posts by other people (you can bet on their sending out affiliate links!)
And one more thing – DO NOT BE FOOLED by this common spam known to trick users into THINKING their account has been suspended to get you to click on a link :
Your account has been suspended for a violation of our Terms of Service….
Your account was suspended for aggressive tweeting and following..
Following large numbers of users and tweeting too much in an attempt to attract attention…..
to your own account can be annoying to other users and is a violation of the Twitter Rules….
To avoid permanent suspension complete our free offers below.
Click here to complete some offers …..Â Â Â <<<—- floating your mouse over what WAS a link
revealed it to be a NON twitter URL. I marked it
as spam after visiting my Twitter account which was fine!
If you are serious about using Twitter for your business, consider these rules carefully so you do not also have to suffer a Twitter account suspension too!