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How to Recover a Suspended Twitter Profile

Posted by on March 9th, 2016

It takes a lot to get an account suspended on Twitter. It’s one of the only social networks out there that allows actual pornography to be posted, after all. There are, however, a few terms of service that will result in a suspended account if you break them. Thankfully, a suspension isn’t quite the same as a ban, and it can be lifted. Some are worse than others, though, so you really have to analyze the situation to see what actions can be taken.

Why Twitter Suspends Users

Twitter has a handful of different reasons they might suspend someone. Here are the most common:

  • Intentional Spam. These accounts are typically run by bots and monitor hashtags or other accounts to find people to send direct messages or @mentions with spam messages. Some spam bot accounts will also just spam like posts to get people to view their profile to see who they are, where their older spam tweets are shown. In any case, intentional spam will get an account indefinitely suspended and will be very difficult to appeal.
  • Unintentional Spam. This is a bit different, and it can happen when you’re posting well-meaning and well-intentioned tweets, but you’re tripping a spam flag in doing so. If you’re posting the same link over and over again – such as running a contest or sending a support link to everyone who tweets at your customer service account – you might be inadvertently spamming that link. Anyone actually reviewing your case will see that it’s not really intentional spam, but automated systems aren’t that smart. These suspensions tend to be easier to lift, at least.
  • Abusive Tweets or Abusive Behavior. This generally isn’t an issue for businesses, because businesses don’t tend to engage with their irate fans in an angry and demeaning way. If your social media manager has a tendency to go off on wild tangents and rants at customers, well, you have bigger problems than just a suspended account. Any sort of threats, bullying, or impersonation can get your account suspended with very little potential recourse.
  • A Hacked Account. Any time an account appears to have been hacked or compromised, Twitter will suspend it as a precautionary measure to prevent having your business compromised. These suspensions are easy to lift, providing that you’re able to give Twitter information proving you are who you say you are, or you can work with them to fix whatever gap caused the security breach.
  • Follower Churn. If you’re rapidly following and unfollowing people, or doing so in large numbers, is considered follower churn. It’s a method used by spammers to try to get people to follow them back, only to unfollow them to keep a good follower/following ratio. Twitter frowns in the practice and can suspend you for it.

There are some other reasons, but these are the main causes of common suspensions. As you can see, some of them are easier to get yourself restored than others. However, regardless of why you were blocked, here’s the steps you should take.

Step 1: Stay Cool

Rule number one with any Twitter suspension is to stay cool. Sometimes you’ll fear the worst, and your thoughts will turn apocalyptic. You’ve worked hard to gain the presence you’ve gained, and now Twitter wants to take it all away? It’s easy to want to go on an angry tirade against Twitter, posting blog posts about how it’s worthless, getting angry when filling out your suspension appeal ticket, and a host of other bad decisions.

Twitter MessageDon’t do any of that. Take the time to breathe, get a drink, and approach things with a cool head. If you’re angry, you won’t be able to think objectively and figure out why this is happening. You won’t be able to fill out the appeal ticket appropriately, and you’ll hurt your chances of having your suspension lifted. If you can be honest about your situation to yourself, you can be honest to the appeal staff, and you can get the issue taken care of that much sooner.

Step 2: Read the Suspension Page

When you log in to a suspended account, you see very little of your account functionality. You are restricted from using the site through that account, through your other accounts are fine unless they too were suspended. You will see, however, a yellow bar at the top of the screen with a link that tells you about suspended accounts. If you’re not currently suspended or you want to read the link again, this is the page it links to.

About Suspended Accounts

If you’re lucky, you will see another message, one that tells you that you can lift the suspension by proving your identity. This usually happens with cases of mistaken identity, cases where you were reported for minor violations of the rules, or certain automated spam detection features. You can submit a phone number, confirm your email, and follow a few instructions to get your suspension lifted without filling out a ticket.

Most of the time, however, you will simply be directed to the Twitter rules and to the appeal ticket form. This is for more mid-range or serious offenses. It’s a lengthy process that will take a couple of days on average, though sometimes longer, so prepare yourself for the effort involved.

Step 3: Identify Why You Were Suspended

Knowing Twitter’s rules and knowing the list of common suspensions above, take a moment to think about your Twitter actions and what might have caused your suspension. When you fill out your appeal, you will have to be honest about it, because Twitter will be able to know whether or not you’re lying. You can’t go in and delete tweets to make yourself seem more innocent, either. In general, it’s better to admit that you were wrong, realize that the rules say your actions were against the terms, and promise not to do it again. Showing good faith is better than claiming innocence and hoping for Twitter’s benign goodwill.

If you honestly don’t know why you were suspended – or if your suspension was from follower churn and you only started it recently – you might be able to pass it off as a hacking. In this case, instead of submitting the usual suspension appeal ticket, submit a hacking appeal. You can find that option here, on the left, under “hacked account.”

Step 4: Resist the Urge to Email or Call

Twitter is a huge platform with millions of users and a relatively small staff. They don’t have the resources to manage every single support case via a phone call or a personal email. There’s a ticket system for a reason, after all. Trying to circumvent that system tells Twitter that you think you’re more important than all the other people who have suspension issues on Twitter, or any other support issue for that matter. Sure, your business marketing is on the line. That doesn’t make you any more important, though.

Unless you’re legitimately a billionaire or you’re the head of a massive company, you’re not going to be so important that you can circumvent Twitter’s rules. Often times, even billionaires can’t. All you’ll do is get an employee mad at you for wasting their time. If you’re unlucky – or you’re calling out of anger – you’ll find yourself with your ticket closed and your suspension still in place.

Step 5: Submit a Ticket

Once you think you have the details and the calm mindset necessary to appeal your suspension, you can fill out the ticket. The form for doing it is here. You will be asked to fill out a description of your problem, as well as some details about your account and how to contact you. The main portion is the description of the problem. This is where you say something like “I noticed my account, @username, was suspended. Upon review of the Twitter rules, I believe the issue is that I was X, which I was unaware was against the rules. If possible, I would like my suspension to be lifted, whereupon I will take Y steps to prevent this from happening again.”

Twitter Support Ticket

Be as complete as possible and as pleasant as possible. Don’t be angry and don’t lie. Twitter reps will be able to review your case, and if something is amiss or you’re caught in a lie, they won’t help you. At best, you’ll have to wait for your suspension to end before you can come back. At worst, you’ll find your suspension upgraded to a permanent ban, effectively killing your account.

Step 6: Wait

Waiting is the hardest part by far of this whole process. Twitter rarely gets back to users within a 24 hour period like they claim; support volume is simply too much these days. If you do receive a reply, often it will be an automated response thanking you for submitting a ticket and, sometimes, providing a bit more information about the situation. Generally, each major suspension reason will have a response that is triggered based on the flag on your account. If you were suspended in error, this won’t help you, and you’ll have to wait for a manual review. In some cases, all you’ll need to do is fill out some information to have your suspension lifted.

Remember that any message sent to you will be sent to the email associated with your Twitter account. If, to avoid hacking attempts, you used a different email than your standard email, you need to remember to check that different email. If you used a temporary email or one you no longer have access to, you might be out of luck.

Step 7: Check Ticket Status

If, after 36 hours or so, you haven’t received a reply, you can check the status of your ticket.

You will have to check Twitter’s ticket system and see if the option is available to you. Twitter may have removed the functionality, unfortunately, so it might not work for everyone. Give it a try and see if it’s there. If not, you’ll just have to wait.

Step 8: Respond to Any Responses

If and when Twitter sends you a response asking for information or directing you to a form to fill out, fill it out as promptly and completely as possible. Err on the side of too much information, because the last thing you need is another 24-hour round of waiting while they respond to your response to their response to your ticket. Adding another round on top of that just makes it worse.

Sometimes it will be simple, sometimes it will be complex and require more explanation. Always be nice to the Twitter rep; their job is hard enough as it is, they don’t need irate users yelling at them. One good tip is to ask for instructions or an explanation as to why you were suspended, so you can avoid repeating the same mistakes.

Step 9: Contact Twitter Reps

If you haven’t received a response, or if your ticket was closed without a response, or if your suspension appeal was denied, you have another recourse to try to proactively attempt to get your suspension lifted.

Remember when I said not to call or otherwise try to circumvent the support process? Well, that only applies to before it was denied. If you’ve tried the official route and it hasn’t worked, you can try to contact Twitter reps directly. The two most often suggested in posts on the subject are @ginger and @delbius. These two are Twitter employees dealing with various support and security issues. Ginger will be able to tell you if you’ve violated the terms of service in a technical way, and Delbius will be able to help with more exotic issues.

In order to tweet to them, of course, you will need to register a new account. You can also use this account to inform your old followers of your absence and any status updates or important notes you need to broadcast.

Of course, if you happen to have a direct line to one of the upper echelons of Twitter, you can get them to pull a favor for you. Just be aware that you can’t do that if you don’t already know the people in question. Just Googleing Biz Stone’s email to ask for support won’t get you anywhere.

Step 10: Wait for Suspension Expiration

If all else fails, but your suspension was a temporary one, your last recourse is to simply wait it out. Most suspensions are no more than a month, after which your account will be restored. I know it’s harsh, but it’s better than having to start from scratch. Of course, if your suspension was permanent, you will have to start over. Just make sure not to do whatever it was that got you suspended again. Don’t try to rush you growth; take it slow and easy. Shortcuts lead to more suspensions.

Join the discussion:
  1. Samirah Kausar

    says:

    I literally got my twitter account suspended for “posting a violent threat” but i actually didn’t like it’s so unfair i had 6k followed and i worked hard for them and now I’m suspended. I just really want my account back, can sometime help me. Like i literally did nothing wrong to go against the twitter rules, i know that for sure, i was falsley accused wth.

    • Eddie Ryan

      says:

      My Twitter account, which I’ve had for 7 years with nary a problem on it the whole time, was recently suspended because of some things that I had said that I honestly didn’t see a problem with but others took it much more personally, reported it as such and reported my profile and now, I can’t get back on it and any attempts I’ve made to get new accounts that had NO connection to my old one are also suspended and I didn’t even get to post anything with those new accounts. They’ve told me they’re NOT unsuspending me and I have no way of letting people know and that’s the hardest part because while I wasn’t on a lot, I was a presence all the same. I created a new account that was completely unrelated to my previous account and they even suspended THOSE, even though they had NO connection to the suspended one. I just wanted a new start and try again and they’re not even giving me a chance to do so. What can I do because it’s incredibly frustrating to hit problems suddenly after 7 years of NO incidents. 🙁

  2. Ree Fungorio

    says:

    This doesn’t make sense to me–Twitter “locks” my account pretty much every day for non-existent infractions of their rules. They don’t want conservatives on their website, fine. But as suggested above I’ve tried to create other accounts with different emails but they are all INSTANTLY suspended. I don’t ever get any responses from support at all. Nothing. I tried repeating the process a few times, with different emails, and not using my phone number, so now I have half a dozen instantly suspended accounts. Are they tracking the IP address of my computer or something?

  3. Brad Davis

    says:

    they suspended me a few weeks ago. still havent told me why as I receive no response

  4. mezoantropo

    says:

    How to distinguish permanent suspension from temporary?

  5. kwilki

    says:

    Twitter doesn’t want conservatives on their forum. Once they’ve ‘Red flagged’ your account, it’s constantly being monitored for the slightest infraction. Although some Tweets or rebuttals may not be offensive or against Twitter rules, they can use any reason to suspend, or permanently ban an account. What a sad and disappointing social network they have turned out to be.

  6. Himanshu

    says:

    So I posted the famous “I don’t know who you are but I’ll find you and …. ” meme as a reply to my friend. Of course, it was just for fun reply, there was no intention to harm someone. My account got suspended. I have appealed once, twice and thrice. All the three-time twitter replies “your account posted content that was threatening and/or promoting violence in violation of the Twitter Terms of Service. Accordingly, your account has been suspended and will not be restored” I am still appealing after every reply. It has 20.2k tweets which were 20.2k memories to me. What do you think about this case? Should I still keep my hopes to get the account back? I miss my friends.

    • James Parsons

      says:

      Hi Himanshu, I’m so sorry that happened. I wouldn’t give up, I’ve heard stories of people getting their accounts back. Jack Dorsey was just on Joe Rogan’s podcast not too long ago talking about how the over-sensitivity of their algorithm is a problem, and that people are getting banned without a good cause. Maybe try dropping his direct email a message, and send him a very short and to-the-point email of what happened. Couldn’t hurt to try. Follow up too, if he doesn’t respond after a week or so. Hope you get it back!

  7. Michael Delauzon

    says:

    My Twitter account was suspended on April 2, 2019. I appealed and they responded stating my account would “remain suspended”. It said “replies and new appeals for this account will not be monitored” They gave a reason I “created multiple accounts with overlapping use cases.” The fact is I did create three accounts that focused on different topics of discussion. Many people have more than one account. I can log in to my accounts but I cannot send a tweet or respond to DM’s. Is there a effective way to be un-banned”? Strategies? All replies appreciated. Thanks.

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