You were tweeting and something went wrong: Twitter suspended or limited your account!
And you’ve landed here, looking for a solution.
You are in the right place! Without wasting your time, let’s try finding the problem and fixing it. Don’t give up hope!
But before going back to your account, let’s help you figure out the reason for the limitation or suspension so that it doesn’t happen again! We will then show you how to lift the limitations that have been imposed upon you or appeal the suspension, so that you can return to your Twitter community.
- Reasons why Twitter suspended or limited your account
- Aggressive engagement
- Safety reasons
- Privacy reasons
- What happens when you break the Twitter rules
- Did you find out why Twitter suspended or limited your account?
Reasons why Twitter suspended or limited your account
Although Twitter is a pretty easy, intuitive and free place where to express yourself, it doesn’t mean you can just do whatever you want on there!
There are many reasons for Twitter to limit or suspend accounts, and it’s worth getting familiar with them so that you can adapt your posting and avoid making mistakes.
These reasons are:
- Aggressive engagement;
- Safety reasons;
- Privacy reasons;
Let’s look at them one by one now!
Twitter is built on engagement – the likes, retweets and followers we all get and engage with.
It’s important to participate on Twitter, but if you overdo it, Twitter may think that you are manipulating the system in order to get more out of the platform.
The exact thresholds used to determine what is too aggressive are quite mysterious, but since Elon Musk took charge of the platform, he’s created (some) clearer limits. These may change, but as of March 2023, this is where they stand:
- You can’t follow more than 400 new accounts per day, although the Twitter rules and policies page adds that “this is a technical account limit only, there are additional rules prohibiting aggressive following behavior.” If you hit that limit, you will get an error message, which means you need to take a pause and hope your account doesn’t get suspended!
- You can no longer follow more than 5,000 people – although “Once an account is following 5,000 other accounts, additional follow attempts are limited by account-specific ratios.”
- There’s also a limit on the number of tweets you can send in one day! You need to stop at 2,400 tweets (and retweets!) per day or face an error message.
- You can’t send more than 500 direct messages daily, a measure aimed at reducing spamming.
- You can’t change your account email more than 4 times within one hour.
The other engagement limits related to suspension remain more unclear, yet still applicable.
- If you like and retweet a lot, you will look suspicious in the eyes of Twitter.
- It’s a little different with commenting – if you keep adding value, you’ll be fine, but don’t repeat the same (bland) phrases over and over. Repeatedly posting duplicated and unsolicited replies to many accounts is also considered spam behavior.
- Posting and then deleting the same content repeatedly in a limited span of time can also threaten your account by making you look like a spam account.
- Repeatedly posting tweets or sending Direct Messages consisting of links shared without commentary is one of the main actions for which Twitter can suspend your account. It looks clearly like spam and Twitter has to make sure its users have a good time on the platform!
- Although using automation tools with Twitter has been restricted recently, some of them are still available. You have to be very careful when using them, especially when you employ them to follow and unfollow people to gain followers yourself.
- Also watch out when automating comments, likes, and retweets! If you a tool to do this for you without you giving consent to that action, you’re very likely to get flagged. Make sure your business is in order and that you are not being spammy through sheet laziness! As Twitter’s guidelines state, “You are ultimately responsible for the actions taken with your account, or by applications associated with your account.”
- Following and then unfollowing large numbers of accounts in an effort to grow your own follower count could potentially result in Twitter categorizing you under spam.
- Posting unrelated Tweets to try and participate in trends with hashtags to get attention could result in your account being suspended.
Spam can be a variety of things according to Twitter (and some of the things listed above are considered spam), but while the definition of spam is a little vague, it does give you a good idea of what is safe and unsafe to do. If Twitter suspended your account, it may be because of your behavior coming across as too self-promotional and intrusive.
- Sending people unsolicited DMs with links to (sketchy) websites is considered spam.
- Sending replies, mentions or DMs in huge bulks is seen as spam behavior.
- Sending the same DMs over and over isn’t good.
- Posting the same content over and over is also forbidden. That happens for example when you keep posting the same links to your website with the same text in the tweet to describe your website. Twitter wants you to be smarter and more creative than that!
- The above point is valid if you keep tweeting the same message over and over again or keep retweeting the same message. This isn’t what Twitter is for!
- The spam flag is also raised when you add people (manually or automated) to Lists or moments in a relentless and aggressive way.
- Creating multiple accounts and retweeting those accounts constantly in order to get more engagement isn’t allowed. It’s of course OK to have multiple accounts, but you shouldn’t be engaging with that account only for that reason! Retweeting your second account sometimes is fine, but doing multiple times a day is not.
- Finally, tweeting with excessive, unrelated hashtags in a single tweet or across multiple tweets is obviously spam.
Spam is very annoying and goes completely against the very principles of the platform. If Twitter suspended your account, consider whether you’ve been guilty of this practice.
At Hypefury, we of course understand the great power of automation when it comes to social media management.
Automating your posts is most of the time completely fine and accepted by Twitter. What is key is that you need to be the person performing an action to activate a particular automation.
For instance, that means you can schedule and automate your tweeting if someone writes your tweets by hand and imports them into a scheduling tool (such as Hypefury!).
The same applies to automatically retweeting some of your tweets: you need to be the one making that decision. You can’t however have a software tool that spins content, creates new tweets from old tweets, and keeps tweeting that stuff over and over on its own!
You are not allowed to use automation to copy someone’s following list.
Naturally, your automated content needs to meet all the basic Twitter rules (about safety, privacy, abuse, etc.) too. This means that before authorizing a third-party application to access or use your account, you need to make sure that you’ve thoroughly investigated the application and understand what it will do. It’s your responsibility!
You can send automatic replies or mentions as long as the user has made it clear to you that they’d be OK with that, either by reply or by DM; you also need to provide a clear and easy way for the user to opt out of your automatic tweets, and you mustn’t abuse the automatic reply function to spam them. The same applies to automatic DMs.
You cannot automate likes, the following/unfollowing of users, nor the adding of people to lists.
The rules are a little different if you are a developer – consider going through this page by Twitter Help Center on Automation Rules.
If Twitter suspended or limited your account, consider whether your automation tools have gone a little overboard and see if you can change your settings.
An online platform like Twitter thrives when people feel safe to share. When people are being harassed or abused, Twitter’s safe environment disappears. Even when we disagree with one another, we still need to take care of each other!
Here are some tips to keep your Twitter presence safe for others and avoid getting yourself suspended.
- Remember the saying: hate the game, not the player. If you keep that in mind with all your interactions on Twitter, you’ll be safe. You can agree to disagree, as well as accept that you may not change someone’s mind with 280 characters or even a long thread. Twitter is a great place to be confronted with different opinions, but it’s not a gladiator arena!
- There’s a big difference in saying “I hate the fact that…” and “I hate you”! The former is freedom of speech, while the latter is a personal attack and doesn’t have its place on Twitter. You’re attacking the player and not the game!
- If you engage in abusive behavior, your tweet (or DM) will get reported and you’ll simply lose your account. Just like that! In this case, there’s only a slight chance you can get it back after an appeal. Which makes sense! Twitter isn’t meant to spread hate.
Indeed, if your tweets, retweets or comments come under any of the following categories, Twitter won’t be clement with you.
- Violence: you can’t incite or threaten with violence in any way. Should be easy to be a decent human being!
- Harassment: you can’t share abusive content or abuse someone directly or indirectly by encouraging others to do it.
- Hateful Conduct: As Twitter’s website states, “You may not directly attack other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, caste, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease.” Twitter is meant for everyone, so don’t ever discriminate people!
- Self-harm: you must not encourage self-harm or suicide on Twitter;
- Sensitive Media: this rather general term encapsulates many kinds of sensitive media, from violent to pornographic content, whether in tweets or in banner images and profile pictures.
- Illegal Activities: Twitter doesn’t want to be a tool you use to make your illegal dealings!
If Twitter suspended your account for such reasons, you’ll have a very hard time getting it back and should learn from this experience.
In the olden days, when Twitter was still innocent and kind of useless, people would share personal information (like what restaurant they’ll be at later that day!) pretty freely.
These careless days are long gone! People are much more aware of the risks of sharing such information online, which also includes other people’s privacy.
How would you feel if someone were to leave your home address or your phone number on Twitter for all to see? You wouldn’t be amused, and such behavior is forbidden.
Similarly, sharing information that would enable individuals to hack or gain access to someone’s private information without their consent is not permitted either.
Logically, it’s also not allowed to even threaten to expose such information. That’s harassment or even blackmail, if there’s a bounty or financial demand attached to the threat. You also can’t offer to pay someone in exchange for the information they may have.
This also goes for photos you’d rather not have shared online, such as explicit pictures that were taken in an intimate setting for a specific person.
Here’s what Twitter says specifically about what could happen to you and your account if you were to post such content.
Twitter is striving to be based on truth, from users to the content they share.
This is why if you steal someone else’s personality, you’ll get caught and suspended. Neither can you impersonate anyone, steal anyone’s “face” and use it as your own without consent.
You also can’t share fake news. If you do, then Twitter may label Tweets containing synthetic and manipulated media to help people understand their authenticity and to provide additional context.
You can’t violate others’ intellectual property rights, including copyright and trademark.
Since the 2016 elections, Twitter has been aggressively going after (Russian) bots that were spamming the platform with fake news about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. They still have a huge problem when looking at (bot) accounts that share a lot of fake information, but are working on it. The same is applicable to the COVID pandemic, as it is across all media.
What happens when you break the Twitter rules
If you don’t respect the rules listed above, your Twitter account may get limited or suspended.
A limited account means that your ability to use Twitter normally will be impacted, but your account isn’t suspended.
There are different reasons why your account may be suspended.
If it is because of suspicious activity, certain features will no longer be available to you for a certain amount of time. Only your followers will be able see your activity on Twitter, including Tweets, likes, Retweets, etc. until that period of time has passed. It could also mean that you won’t be able to tweet from your Twitter app but only through your desktop.
You will usually have two options to lift the limitation on your account:
- Comply with the limitations imposed on your account for the specified time listed.
- Complete some instructions to verify your phone number or email address.
If you’ve been found to have violated Twitter rules too often, however, you won’t be offered the second option.
Alternatively, your Twitter account may be limited because it may have violated the Twitter Rules. If that happens, you can still browse Twitter, but without engaging except by sending Direct Messages to your followers. Only your followers will be able to see your past Tweets, and visitors to your profile will see a message letting them know about your potential violation and asking them to confirm whether they still want to see your page.
In the case of violation of the rules, you will have to follow some instructions on your account to begin the countdown on your limited state. These may include verifying your email address, adding a phone number to your account, or deleting tweets that are in violation of the Twitter rules.
If Twitter suspended your account completely, there’s not much you can do besides appealing the decision!
In your appeal, be sure to show that you are sorry for your mistakes and that you’ve learned from them. Show some empathy and understanding, and be patient: Twitter is trying to be a friendly space and needs to make sure it can trust you again.
Did you find out why Twitter suspended or limited your account?
After reading about the potential reasons why Twitter suspended or limited your account, did you find out why either of those two scenarios happened to you?
Everyone makes mistakes. If you did make any (and especially if you knew about it before you made them), own up to them. It’s your responsibility to do better next time!
If you didn’t (and still don’t) know what you did wrong, be honest about that, too. Twitter has automated systems that sometimes pick out the wrong people to suspend. If you can make your case clearly and convincingly, they will likely un-suspend your account sooner rather than later!