Twitter’s New Security Measure & Unlocking Suspended Accounts

July 2, 2020


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By golly. I’m not sure what’s more challenging to navigate: Twitter’s latest security measure or the dating world. Either way, there will be radio silence.

If you haven’t heard, in May Twitter implemented a new security measure due to the CEO, Jack Dorsey’s account being hacked. In its early days, Twitter allowed users to receive and send tweets via mobile text messages. However, over the years many users opted to use Twitter's services via mobile, desktop apps, and the website. In other words, people who are still using Twitter services via SMS are majorly inactive. Twitter then stopped users' ability to send tweets via SMS and claimed that the decision was taken to "protect people's accounts." Twitter enforced that all accounts receive a two-factor authentication, in which a confirmation code is sent to the number associated with your account. Seems easy right? Receive a confirmation code and get a golden ticket. Not when you’re a digital agency with a client that has 21 different Twitter accounts for their properties in which you need to manage and track down that confirmation number before it expires. That’s like playing pin the tail on the donkey after too many glasses of wine.

So, you must be wondering what happened? How did Digible wrestle with this new Twitter security measure, and why the Hell you should read this blog? And if you love Tom Hardy, continue reading anyway. Let me walk you through our month-long debacle.

The Conundrum of Confirmation Numbers

How did we access the confirmation codes for all 21 locked Twitter accounts? Let me break it down for you our options:

1. Many of our clients’ individual property phone numbers associated with the Twitter account are landlines (yes, landlines still exist).

2. If the number on the account is a property or property manager’s cell number, we may not get the confirmation code fast enough before it expires (time zones, response, etc).

3. We tried setting up a tracking number so that Digible would receive the confirmation number. That didn’t work. Twitter knew what you were up to. Just like that time in high school when you tried to sneak out to that party and your parents caught you. They just knew.

Seeking Solutions from the Digible Problem-Solving Sorcerer

It was then that I approached David, Digible President and Cofounder, and problem-solving sorcerer. “David, I can’t access our clients’ Twitter accounts. I feel like Tom Hardy has me in a full-nelson and I can’t break free.”

Assessing the situation he replied, calmly and collectively, “Hm. Which Tom Hardy?”“Tom Hardy as Alfie in Peaky Blinders.” He plays a cheeky, yet ruthless mobster. Alfie does have a soft spot, but you won’t discover that for several years. We don’t have years to find Twitter’s soft spot.

Thanks to David’s guiding light along with the support and enthusiasm from the team, I voluntold them we needed to use our personal numbers to receive the confirmation codes to access the clients’ Twitter accounts. Once we were in the accounts, we ensured the correct number for the property was on file. Everything was great, grand, wonderful – not so fast. Remember I said this was a month-long debacle?

Twitter locked three accounts. Why these three accounts? I could not tell you. Just like I could not tell you the answer to any parabola equation, with or without a graphing calculator. We were able to get into these Twitter accounts, but not post or do anything. The account was suspended. It was as if Twitter’s security measure were medieval gates that came crashing down like, “RING, RING STRANGER DANGER!”

What’s Next?

I approached David once again. “David, Tom Hardy’s back. This time, he’s Bane from the Dark Knight Rises.” Unforgiving. I’m stuck. It was approaching the end of the month with over three weeks worth of bounced posts from three of these accounts (our client was aware). By this time, I was trying to maneuver my way around Twitter’s radio silence. I scoured LinkedIn hoping to have a connection that worked at Twitter. I did! However, he worked in recruiting so he could not support me in this arduous endeavor. I was on the brink of calling every single one of my friends – realistically, five friends – that lived in Boulder (where Twitter had an office, but now all the employees work from home, just like the rest of the world) to see if anyone had a contact in the company that could help me.

Light at the End of the Windy Tunnel

Two days later and nearly 30 days from when the Twitter accounts were locked, I received the most glorious email (aside from when the library used to notify me my library books were ready for pick-up, pre-COVID), We’re writing to let you know that your account is now unlocked. We’re sorry for the inconvenience.” 

This is where I broke out dancing as if I just scored the winning touchdown for the Superbowl. However, this was only one of the three suspended accounts that were unlocked. 

Steps for Unlocking a Twitter Account

Let me guide you as if I’m Frodo from Lord of the Rings. It may be a wild adventure through Middle Earth. Hold on.

1. You need to send an appeal to Twitter. We had sent a total of four appeals to Twitter requesting access to unsuspend these accounts. After nearly three weeks, radio silence. And the silence was killing me softly. Kind of like dating. For the singletons out there, you may go on a few dates and then radio silence. Was it something you said or did? And self-deprecating thoughts swirl in your head and perhaps you are left in wonder and frustration. You’re not alone.

2. You will select which platform you are using. Desktop, iPhone, typewriter. This doesn’t matter all that much. I selected a desktop browser.

3. You need a sense of urgency. In the description of the problem, I literally wrote in my fourth appeal, “HELP!!! My clients’ Twitter accounts have been suspended. You allowed me access to 19 of their accounts but not these three! WHY? ” Dramatic? A little, but the account was unlocked two days later. Your appeal may look a little different, but state your case and call Twitter out on their BS.

4. Be relentless. I sent several appeals and I don’t like being ghosted. Twitter might tell you that you already have a case. I encourage patience and continue to communicate your needs, just as you would in a relationship.

5. Include your information and Twitter handle. If you are trying to unlock numerous accounts, you will have to file numerous claims. Just saying.

6. Confirm you are indeed a human at the end and GOOD LUCK!

Why Were We Locked Out?

You’re probably wondering why Twitter locked these three accounts. Here’s their reply:

A little background: We have systems that find and remove automated spam Twitter accounts, and it looks like yours was flagged as spam by mistake. This can happen if an account exhibits automated behavior in violation of our rules. We apologize for the mixup, and hope to see back on Twitter soon.

Kind of feels like you’re being called a naughty child or behaving badly and you’re like, “I didn’t do anything!”

The End is Near

When I received that glorious email from Twitter, I went back to David. “David, Twitter unlocked one of the three accounts. I’m breaking free and I’m one step closer to the Tom Hardy who reads children’s bedtime stories on BBC.” If you haven’t seen them, I strongly recommend it. Whether you have kids, love Tom Hardy, or just want someone to read you a bedtime story (no judgment). Tom is a perfect peach and narrates powerful children’s stories with beautiful morals. There you have it, folks. Twitter secrets, a little dating advice, and the few stages of Tom Hardy (if you don’t know who Tom Hardy is by now, you should).

Organic Social Media Services - Need Help?

Digible provides Organic Social Services for your social media platforms in the multifamily housing industry. We design engaging and authentic cross-channel content to connect with consumers and enhance brand reputation and visibility. Drop us a line at [email protected]

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