July 07, 2021

A Thrilling New Experience...I'm in Twitter Jail for Getting Hacked

 Hello sweeties,

I'm technically still on a hiatus, but since this is the only way I have to let you know what happened, here's an unplanned post (@ Veronika: since it's late and I don't feel like writing the whole thing from scratch, I'm going to recycle parts of the email I sent you). Here goes...

As some of you noticed, my Twitter account got hacked today. I was at work, so I only got wind of it via Karen's message, which I barely managed to read (during a spare moment) before my account got suspended. The only thing I can do right now is read my timeline and my tweets up until the incident, and I counted 10 spam ones, all about bitcoins and Elon Musk? plus there's a tweet around 1pm that says "447", which I suppose was a test tweet to confirm they had managed to hack my account. If only I had noticed! But I was at work, and anyhow, it's not like one can be on Twitter 24/7.

This is David Tennant as Alec Hardy in Broadchurch.
Yep, there's a Tennant gif for everything...

Now, the problem is, I'm in Twitter jail for something I didn't do, and it seems like I can only wait for the powers-that-be to take mercy on me (assuming they will). Because here's what happened:

When I went home, I sent an appeal (which took a while because I couldn't find the right link) explaining that my account had been hacked, and the immediate reply was:

Hello, 
We received your appeal regarding your account. Please reply to this message and confirm that you have access to this email address. Once we receive your confirmation, we’ll review the information you provided and will respond as soon as possible.
We typically suspend accounts for violations of the Twitter Rules or Terms of Service. Additionally, repeat violations may result in permanent account suspension. 
Thanks,
Twitter  

Then, an hour later, I got the following email:

Hello, 

We’re writing to let you know that your account has been suspended––and will remain suspended––due to multiple or repeat violations of our rules. 

We don’t allow the following behaviors on Twitter: 

  • Creating serial and/or multiple accounts with overlapping uses
  • Evading a permanent suspension by creating or using another account
  • Cross-posting Tweets or links across multiple accounts
  • Aggressive following, particularly through automated means

Please do not reply to this email or send us new appeals for this account as we won’t monitor them.

Thanks,

Twitter
 
WTF??? What does it even mean? Suspended for how long? Did you even realise I didn't do anything, but a hacker did?

Then I googled a bit, and apparently, the above should be another automated reply (but why did it arrive after a whole hour then?). Anyhow, I'm totally in the dark now. What should I expect? and when? And what if they let me out of Twitter jail and the same thing happens again later? Will my account be permanently suspended?

Needless to say, I'm enraged and gutted. Also, can I ever have a moment of peace? And what should I do now? Nothing, apparently. So what? I wait? Does "will remain suspended" mean "forever"? Is it true that I can't do anything? Does anyone have a clue? Has such a thing ever happened to you, or to someone you know? And if I'm not asking too much...can you try and alert Twitter of my situation? (like, tweeting @TwitterSupport or whatever). I'll be in debt with you forever if you do...my pleas are useless at this point, and I'm desperate. I'm cut out from all my authors and publishers - and of course, I can't chat with you on a daily basis. Thank you again!

36 comments:

  1. I was wondering what all those weird Elon Musk posts were about. I am sorry you were hacked. It's such a violation.

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    Replies
    1. What's worse, I can't seem to get my account back! My plea fell on deaf ears, as if those tweets were my fault.

      Delete
  2. Oh no! I don't get it people must ge hacked ALL THE TIME, surely they know this and can be a little more accommodating, no to mention NICE. Gah. I would be sooo frustrated too.

    I am hoping and assuming they're gonna correct this, but yikes I'm going to look at how we can contact Twitter and let them know someone's been hacked. Yeesh...

    I hope you are back up soon!!!

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "I don't get it people must get hacked ALL THE TIME, surely they know this".
      Exactly what I was thinking! Also, if only someone scrolled a little down my timeline, they would see that I'm just your average Twitter user, not a spammer. And that message? It sounds like they're keeping my account that way for good, and there's no other way to contact them (unless they read tweets directed @TwitterSupport, but of course I can't write one now 😭 🀬).

      I hope you guys can find a way to help 🧑 - I feel completely cut out from the world now...plus, publishers require a Twitter account (when not an Amazon or B&N one, which I've done fine without so far, but on the other hand, I've probably lost some bookish chances because of that. I know of one at least).

      Delete
  3. Yikes, I saw those bitcoin tweets yesterday and figured something was off. It's a good thing that all of your other accounts are okay, and it's just twitter, so no personal information was stolen. Still, this is super frustrating. It's never happened to me, but sometimes when I see people's twitter accounts get suspended they return back a few days later. Perhaps it's only a matter of time before they let you out of twitter jail. I'll call a lawyer, LOL.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "sometimes when I see people's twitter accounts get suspended they return back a few days later."
      I wish. But the way their reply was worded, it sounded like it was definitive, and I wasn't even supposed to try another appeal (which I did anyway, getting the same response). It's so unfair, and I need a social media presence for bookish reasons, and...I need to chat with you all to stay sane. I already miss everyone, too!

      I might need a lawyer, no kidding...

      Delete
  4. I left you a comment from my phone - I guess it didn't go?? lol

    Anyway - Sorry this happened to you and I sent out a tweet to the powers that be - I don't hold a lot of sway but I gave it a try.

    I had to leave you that 1st comment from my phone because my computer locked up again! But, miraculously, I got it going again (without Kevin I might add lol) and now I'm spreading that good energy your way!

    I don't know anyone who was locked out of twitter but from what I read online it can be 24 hours to 7 days. It happens a lot on Instagram too and they have the same convoluted resolution process.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your first comment didn't go...of course LOL. And what's with your computer getting locked up again?!? Anyhow, see? Kevin rubbed off on you! I'm proud of you! πŸ˜‚

      "I sent out a tweet to the powers that be - I don't hold a lot of sway but I gave it a try."
      Thank you for trying! I don't have a lot of hope either, but what else can I (or anyone) do? And it's true that you usually stay in detention for a minimum of 24 hours up to 7 days - I read the same thing - but this doesn't sound the case. They said "your account has been suspended––and will remain suspended" and "Please do not reply to this email or send us new appeals for this account as we won’t monitor them.", which sounds pretty final to me. Also, there's no other place to go and plead my case - like a forum. I did try to appeal a second time, and I got the same reply as before, only in 5 minutes instead of an hour. I'm a criminal and they've given up on me, except they're holding my account hostage, I guess to prevent me from trying to make a new one...if I wanted to, I would need a new email to sign in, plus a second new email for backup reasons, plus a different handle, and it would be a whole process. Also...build back an audience again? 😨. Though I think that they've dismantled my old one already, because my follower and following counts are both 0 right now, and I don't think they have simply hidden them.

      I didn't need/deserve this, on top of everything else.

      Delete
    2. Ugh....I hate how much control they have over everything and no recourse for us.

      They want you to put so much online or on clouds and then it all goes away and they are just like...oops Meanwhile we've lost everything.

      Delete
    3. Yep, that too. That's why I'm saving all my blog stuff and have a whole catalog of pretty much everything in it, but it's exhausting.

      Delete
    4. This is absolute bullshit and I'm so pissed. I've been looking at ways to get through to them (the fact that they don't care KILLS me) but haven't found much. I'm so SORRY Roberta!!!!!!

      Delete
    5. Aww, you're so sweet. At least I have you people in my corner. But there SHOULD be a way to talk to an actual human about this issue, instead of only getting ONE chance to make an appeal that probably someone will read with just one eye open and reject without even looking into the matter.

      Delete
    6. I totally agree. THAT'S the shitty part, that you have almost no recourse! It's really got me thinking too, how we have almost no control over our own online presences...

      Delete
    7. Yep - like in this case, in order to have my useless account closed and my personal info erased, I would need to appeal for THAT, too. And I'm sure they would say no, because like that, they can keep my account hostage. The only good thing about Twitter, though, is that it doesn't require a lot of info to join - unless something changed since I did? I only used my surname's first letter, didn't specify the place (either that "Italy") and didn't give them my phone number. They only have my birthday, for all the good it does them.

      Delete
    8. No news then? I was hoping they might have reinstated you..

      Delete
    9. As if LOL. But I just made a new account (please everyone, be laid back about it, lest someone sniffs me out...): @OffbeatYABlog.

      Thank you for checking Greg. You're a good friend.

      Delete
    10. Oh good! I just saw your post. Yay!!! and thank you!

      Delete
  5. I'm so sorry that your Twitter account got hacked into. Though I do not have a Twitter, I do sort of know what that would be like because Wattpad got hacked a while ago and I wasn't sure if the hackers had my password or not. Ans that was scary.

    I hope things get better with Twitter for you,
    -Quinley

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    Replies
    1. Thank you (and nice to meet you!)...but the jury has already spoken for me. They locked me out for good.

      Delete
  6. I was just texting Karen about you! I said, "Did Roberta's Twitter account get suspended?" and then she filled me in. I'm so sorry this happened to you! I tried tweeting Twitter Support, but then I was FLOODED with spam and I got worried about my own account, so I deleted the tweet. I'm so sorry! I don't know what other avenues there are. You could always make a new Twitter account. If you can still view yours, you should be able to re-follow all of the people you're currently following. Would that work?

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? πŸ’¬

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    1. "I tried tweeting Twitter Support, but then I was FLOODED with spam and I got worried about my own account, so I deleted the tweet."
      OMG. I'm sorry about that. It's surreal...they can't keep their own house tidy, but blame it on us when shit happens. Thank you so much for trying!

      "If you can still view yours, you should be able to re-follow all of the people you're currently following. Would that work?"
      Alas, no. Both my follower and following count are at 0 now, and I don't think it's because they've been hidden - stupid Twitter must have erased my whole history, and I'm sure the only reason why they haven't closed my account is in order to keep it hostage, so that, if I wanted to make a new one, I would need a different email address, plus a second different email address for backup, plus a different handle...and if they got wind of my new account, they would suspend it in no time. I legit want to cry now. This is too much on top of everything else.

      Delete
    2. Update: I'm not even allowed to review and retrieve my own account info. This is unacceptable.

      Delete
    3. New update: if I want to deactivate my account, I'll have to beg the powers-that-be to do that (and I'm sure they wouldn't anyway, because as I said, it's crystal clear that they take suspended accounts hostages, in case you want to come back). Not gonna happen. They never had my phone number (I'm positive) or any kind of sensitive data anyway (from what I remember - but I always do my best to keep those to myself if I can get away with it).
      I didn't deserve what they did to me. They don't deserve me. I'll try and find a way to survive without them.

      Delete
  7. I am so sorry that this happened. I'm so disappointed in Twitter and how it's dealt with this issue - it feels like some kind of sick joke. You're right, they don't deserve you, to let their own customers down like this is deplorable. I wish I could help but I don't have a twitter account. All I can say is I'm sorry.

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    1. Some of my friends have tried/are trying to reach out to customer support on Twitter itself, but frankly, I don't think it will make any difference at this point. I appreciate the sentiment though πŸ’š. Ah, I think Olivia can relate to this being a nightmare...

      Delete
  8. A bunch of your friends have been tweeting to twitter support but they haven't responded as far as I can see so far. Which is just crazy to me. I'm so sorry this happened to you.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you for letting me know! At least I know I have awesome friends πŸ˜‰ πŸ’š. And thank you for your support. Yep, this is utter madness.

      Delete
  9. Oh my goodness, what a nightmare. I once had my Twitter account suspended and I fought for months to get it back but I have to be honest, I never did. The account I have now is my second account which I started 3 or 4 years ago and had to build from the ground up again. Twitter help is USELESS and they never really look at the situations on an individual basis to really get to the root of the problem. I am so so sorry you got hacked, and that Twitter is still useless with help after all these years. You deserve so much more. I really hope you'll be able to get it back somehow?

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    1. I didn't know! Gosh, with all the time and dedication and connections it takes to build an audience, starting from scratch feels like a nightmare. Especially when one didn't do anything to deserve that. It's more than a socialising tool for us. I hope it won't happen again...

      Delete
  10. Ugh I saw someone tweet about this and wasn't really sure what happened. That's awful! It's ridiculous to suspend you for something a hacker did. I hope you're able to get the account back. Idk, I'd say maybe try another appeal anyway? What's the worst they can do, if they're not going to give your account back anyway?

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    1. They have everything set up so that another appeal won't even go through. Every time I try, I get an immediate automated response with the same wording as their first one (which took an hour to come instead). It's ridiculous that you can't talk to an actual human about this.

      Delete
  11. Ugh, I'm sorry they still haven't sorted this Roberta!

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    1. I don't think they ever will, but thank you!

      Delete
  12. Oh my GOODNESS this is beyond absurd! I am SO SORRY. I cannot even wrap my head around why they won't help you- isn't that the whole point of a technical support team, for goodness sake!? I am so sorry I wasn't around to help (even if it didn't work ugh), I just saw your newest post today, but I really hope that your old account can eventually be salvaged, this is just so ridiculous of Twitter!

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    1. Thank you! I can't wrap my head around it either, but as one of the authors I work with said, "They really only seem to care about users with massive platforms and just don't bother with the other 99 percent of their users". It was SO in your face, for goodness' sake. Six years and a half of normal activity, and then a dozen stupid bitcoin tweets. And there's really no place where to take your complaints to - you appeal, they reject, and your account is marked. No other way to reach them, no reply to the pleas a few of my friends and authors made to Twitter support on Twitter itself. Which, ironically, has a tagline that boldly says "Here to help" πŸ™„.

      Delete

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