We are not used to being noobies anywhere on the web, but after starting our Twitter account we found we had a lot to learn.
We signed up and logged into our new Twitter account and wanted to test our blog’s Retweet counters. Unfortunately we were unaware of the rules on Twitter, our testing posts must have been considered spam since our account was banned by Twitter.
There was no notice from Twitter via email or on our Twitter home page or anywhere as far as we could see. We assumed since the counts on our retweet buttons where not increasing our counters where broken. Not thinking for a minute it was Twiiter’s fault, we reinstalled the Worpress retweet plugin, and even tried swapping the retweet plugin out with other plugins that do the same thing. All to no avail, the counts remain at zero no matter how many times we tweeted. Our tweets seemed to be working and were being shown on our Twitter home page.
We were stumped, for days, until we found out, through extensive research, that the button counters only show tweets that are publicly searchable. We first checked our setting on Twitter to be sure our Tweets were searchable to the public, public searching was not disabled. So we tried to search for our Tweets, but nothing was found. This lead us to wonder why our Tweets didn’t show in a public search, since our settings allow public searching or our tweets and everything else seemed to working and setup correctly in our Twitter account.
After more searching we finally found that Twitter bans (or ‘filters’) any accounts that it feels have violated the Twitter policies, which means they won’t show up in public searches. Ouch no warning no notice of any kind, this is the way Twitter runs it operation? We found being banned without warning or notice to be rude to say the least.
After several more days of basically giving up on using Twitter we thought of searching for a way to Unban a banned Twitter account. This may seem unethical, but we felt the way Twitter treated us to be enough justification to give it a try.
After following the instructions we are able to use our Twitter account again and our Tweets are publicly searchable, meaning the Tweet counters on are blog are now functioning as they should. They were never broken apparently. The only draw back is that to Unban your Twitter account you must create a new Twitter account, which was not a problem for us, but for those of you who have lots of followers be warned unbanning your Twitter account will lose all your followers and Tweets and reset your account to all default settings.
Our recommendation is that the management at Twitter let people know when you ban accounts, or at least give a warning that a particular Tweet might get you banned. This would help noobies and would save the company a lot or face. Twitter is definitely losing less ambitious users who don’t realize they have been banned and might just assume no one cares about what they are Tweeting.
The whole ordeal made us feel like Twitter personally hated our guts, not fun. Perhaps we were only projecting our own emotions.
We sign up for many web services all the time and don’t have time or the desire to read all the terms we are ‘agreeing’ to. By the way we question the legal validity of these terms and conditions documents. Of course we are not lawyers and we can only advise Twitter against hiding it’s rules this way.
People are interested in the services a company has to offer not the rules, businesses may not like this, but people are only interested in what a company can do for them.
Keep angering your users and you will make your competition more popular with your own bad policies.