Disclaimer: I am not associated with Twitter in any way, shape, or form. I do not work for Twitter and I do not know anyone that works for Twitter. I only speak from personal experience and what I gathered from other users, mainly on Reddit.
A while ago, I wrote about what you should know and do when you are suspended on Twitter. However, I never really detailed on the possible reasons behind some unknown suspensions.
From what I gathered on Reddit and just now, on Twitter, a lot of people were actually wrongly suspended without any given reasons and the most common link between them all (from what I can tell) is TweetDeck – or any other third party platform that Twitter offers APIs to (for example, HootSuite).
TweetDeck is a social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts. Originally it was an independent app, but then TweetDeck was acquired by Twitter Inc. and integrated into Twitter’s interface. This means Twitter owns TweetDeck. Despite this, TweetDeck is still considered a third-party application and thus, using it is grounds on suspending you for violating Twitter’s rules on platform manipulation.
A lot of Twitter suspensions are probably tied to this mysterious “platform manipulation and spam policy.” I’ve heard people mention that it’s vague, but it’s a hit or miss. The gist of it is that you aren’t allowed to operate multiple accounts that posts similar content and that you can’t use the accounts to interact with each other, in case you’re doing it to inflate the tweet or the user’s followers and make fake engagements.
Once they clock you on that, they have grounds on suspending you on first detection.
From what I can tell, Twitter doesn’t really pay close attention to what you’re actually doing. Since TweetDeck makes it very easy to use multiple accounts at once, I suspect that their bots go through the list of people who are accessing Twitter from TweetDeck and ban a few that trigger their senses.
Twitter can also just suspend you if they want to. It is written in their terms of service.
Our Services evolve constantly. As such, the Services may change from time to time, at our discretion. We may stop (permanently or temporarily) providing the Services or any features within the Services to you or to users generally. We also retain the right to create limits on use and storage at our sole discretion at any time. We may also remove or refuse to distribute any Content on the Services, limit distribution or visibility of any Content on the service, suspend or terminate users, and reclaim usernames without liability to you.Twitter Terms of Service: 4. Using the Services
They can suspend you for something that you never did, since Twitter bots are known to be very happy about just banning people over the slightest thing.
I also want to note that they keep stressing on “severe and/or repeat violations” on their rules page, which I didn’t understand until just now. I believe that whenever your account is locked (when you get a white pop-up page that locks you out of your account until you either verify yourself as a human or confirm your phone number), that is Twitter clocking you for violating one of their rules and giving you a chance to redeem yourself. If you get too many locked account warnings, they will just straight up suspend you the next time.
It might be a stretch, but how does Twitter expect you to know that you have violated a rule if they don’t tell you, right? I think a locked account is their way of telling you that they detected rule violations and they want you to know it. However, they never really say they detected “rule violations” whenever they lock accounts, only that they detected “suspicious activity and/or automated behavior.” So it’s hard to confirm that this is their way of saying you violated one of their rules.
Severe violations is much easier to understand, since they straight-up just wrote it in the platform manipulation rules page.
For severe violations, accounts will be permanently suspended at first detection. Examples of severe violations include: operating accounts where the majority of behavior is in violation of the policies described above; using any of the tactics described on this page to undermine the integrity of elections; buying/selling accounts; creating accounts to replace or mimic a suspended account; and operating accounts that Twitter is able to reliably attribute to entities known to violate the Twitter Rules.
In simpler terms: if they think you violated a lot of the rules at the same time, they will ban you permanently the first chance they get.
I personally used TweetDeck since 2016 and I linked many accounts to it over time. Even after I stopped using the extra accounts, I still had them connected. I don’t think that really matters though, because there are a lot of people who mentioned that accounts which were previously logged into their TweetDeck were also suspended, along with those currently logged in. I’m fairly sure Twitter takes notes. This also happened to me where I logged one of my friend’s accounts into TweetDeck but after she took back control, I logged out of it. That account was also suspended when my accounts were suspended.
This is particularly annoying when people use TweetDeck for business. There was one case where Twitter suspended all the accounts that were connected to TweetDeck of this one user, despite those accounts being of their clients’. They only got one out of a dozen or two of the accounts back when I contacted them.
Another person on Twitter mentioned that they were suspended from April to June because they used TweetDeck, despite them only using the application about two to three times. They claimed that Twitter suspended them for the reason of artificially inflating their follower count using the platform.
A Twitter user from my social circle was also suspended without any given reason and they thought that it was because Twitter thought they were a bot, or they were mass-reported by trolls, but I certainly believe that they were clocked for using TweetDeck as well.
Again, it’s hard to say what Twitter thinks is a rule violation when it isn’t obvious (as opposed to a death threat or a racist comment) because I don’t work for Twitter, so we just have to accept things as it is.
I suppose using Twitter just comes with the risk that you’re going to be suspended or locked one day or another, even if you technically didn’t break any of the rules. I know that a lot of accounts that were just made are locked immediately and are asked for their phone numbers even though the account is brand new and nothing has been done to it. Twitter is just really strict – too strict, in fact, that they just ban anyone they want.
So, as simple as TweetDeck makes Twitter browsing is, I suggest you to refrain from using it too much. That goes with other third-party platforms seemingly approved by Twitter because, clearly, Twitter doesn’t even like it when their users use a software that they own.
Read more: If you want to know how to safely browse Twitter again after a suspension without Twitter banning any new accounts that you make, you can read my guide of suspension evasion here.