Our first blog post about Twitter over 2 years ago now was entitled Twitter ye not and today I rue the day I ever tempted fate with that title. Today the Out-Smarts Twitter feed has been suspended and it would appear we’re not the only ones affected. High profile Twitterers like @marismith were also silenced.
On Twitter Status a recent announcement:
Earlier today, we accidentally suspended a number of accounts.
We regret the human error that led to these mistaken suspensions and we are working to restore the affected accountsâ€”we expect this to be completed in the next several hours.
One additional note: some the accounts suspended were using the third-party site Tweetlater. However, Tweetlater is not to blame for these suspensions nor is it in violation of our Terms.
Sunday, July 5th, 2009: A lot of people with legitimate Twitter accounts are currently suffering from having their accounts suspended (late Sunday afternoon).
It is not TweetLaters doing or fault. So, please do not submit a TweetLater support request about it.
We just heard back from Twitter via email, and they said : â€œSpamcloud hit. Were working on restoring accounts.â€
We just need to be patient. The suspended accounts will be restored.
Update: We have no idea exactly what a â€œspam cloudâ€ means. It is probably Twitter staff lingo for a massive spam attack.
Update: We have seen during previous spam attacks that Twitter tends to shoot first and ask questions later and indiscriminately lay down carpet bombing when their system comes under a spam attack. A lot of innocent-bystander accounts get massacred in the process, which they then have to restore afterwards. This is most likely what has happened again.
Update: We have no idea how long it will take Twitter to restore the wrongly suspended accounts. We do not have insight into that information.
Twitter needs to get better. People are using this as a business tool. Account suspension can tarnish a company’s brand, diminish hours of genuine effort in building a valuable Twitter presence, not to mention severing an important communication channel. This is just another example in a long line of Twitter issues that hamper its productive use from a business perspective – how many times have you had the over capacity message?
This also serves as a great reminder not to put all of your eggs in one basket from a marketing perspective. Twitter should not be your only social media marketing tool, nor can it be central component until the system becomes more reliable.
At the time of writing the @outsmarts account is still suspended. We’re not sure how long this will take to resolve.