If you read my last blog post “Booted Off Twitter! No Due Process, Either…” you’ll get a chance to review my recent tale of woe that recounts how, upon having my @EdTittel twitter account suspended, I initially begged and pleaded to have that suspension reversed, to no avail. This morning, while I was chatting on the phone with social media maven Allen Mireles (@allenmireles), when we reviewed the situation once again, she volunteered to contact the leader of the Twitter Safety & Trust team, Del Harvey (@delbius) to see if she could look into matters and consider some kind of possible account restoration maneuver.
Within 15 minutes of making such contact, I received an e-mail from “TheCaptain” at the same general Twitter support address from which “kryptops” issued a summary denial of the suspension reversal request I recounted in that last blog post (that email address is firstname.lastname@example.org but apparently comes with lots of different aliases to permit some kind of identity attribution to go along with what has to be a shared and general mailbox). This message was quite a bit cheerier, as the following screen shot attests:
I am, of course, delighted that I get my original Twitter account back, and get to use my professional name (“Ed Tittel” is on the cover of every book I’ve ever written and in the byline of every article and so forth). But wow, I am also appalled that individuals working in an account review organization apparently have complete latitude in deciding whether or not to restore an account or keep it suspended. “Kryptops” obviously didn’t believe my remonstrations and may not even have checked to determine the exact circumstances that led to my account’s being suspended in the first place. “TheCaptain” not only tells me that my account “…got caught up in…[a]…spam group… by mistake” he even apologizes for any inconvenience I may have suffered thereby.
Don’t get me wrong: I don’t necessarily want to look this gift horse too closely in the mouth, but it is just plain odd and disturbing that two individuals within the same organization can review the same set of data and come to completely contradictory conclusions. This speaks both eloquently and scarily to me of the lack of formal policy and guidelines on how to deal with such matters, and about impressive (and scary) amounts of personal latitude for account review professionals to use as they see fit.
It’s clear that if I hadn’t magically obtained recourse to a higher authority to prompt a re-review of my situation, I might never have gotten my original Twitter account resuscitated. My pal, Allen, reminded me that social media requires a certain amount of grace and patience, and the willingness and ability to tolerate odd and impromptu situations. I’m still working on it, but my faith in the Twitter system — such as it is — has been considerably improved and even bolstered by this encounter. And I guess I must keep my resolve to show some grace and patience if an when such things happen again, as they very well might.