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Wouldn’t You Know? Locked!

Posted 7th April 2019

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This is very, very silly. Here is what awaited me when I popped over to Twitter last Wednesday evening:

Your account has been locked. / @mumoss / What happened? We have determined that this account violated the Twitter Rules. Specifically, for: Violating our rules against hateful conduct. You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. / Offending tweet: @zagrebista WAKE UP YOU FUCKING CUNT WAKE UP WAKE THE FUCK UP WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP CUNT CUNT CUNT CUNT CUNT WAKE UP CUNT / 7:08 PM - 5 Aug 2009 / As a result, we have locked your account. What you can do: To unlock your account, you must do the following: Remove Tweets that violate our rules / If you think we’ve made a mistake, contact our support team.

Just to be clear: “locked” means I can no longer post any new tweets. All my existing tweets can still be read by others, but currently I can’t do anything with my account. I can’t even browse Twitter in read-only mode – all I get is the above locked screen.

A few points:

a) I do not think calling a friend a cunt as an obvious joke counts as “hateful conduct”, regardless of whether you like the word or not. Nor does the person I sent the tweet to, incidentally.

b) The tweet apparently causing all the trouble is nine and a half years old. If Twitter had a problem with this tweet, the correct time to deal with it would have been… nine and a half years ago. Asking for this to be deleted is not a reasonable request from Twitter.

c) If Twitter wants to deal with hateful conduct properly, they should ban more Nazis instead.

For what it’s worth, I have lodged an appeal, pointing out these facts. I could get my account reinstated immediately by deleting the tweet, but – currently, at least – I am disinclined to do so.

I have had no reply as of yet. Four days and counting.

As for what inspired Twitter to drag out a nine and a half year old tweet, who knows? Either somebody stupid reported it, or Twitter are doing some kind of bizarre search for pointless stuff. I very much suspect the former. You’d think Twitter’s algorithms would automatically discard reports for ridiculously old tweets, but that would assume Twitter know what the hell they’re doing, and I think we all know the answer to that by now.

I’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, I’m afraid you’ll all have to do without my hateful conduct for the time being. Many apologies.

UPDATE (10/04/19): It has now been a week since my account has been locked, and I have not yet had a response from Twitter, which is almost as ridiculous as the initial locking in the first place. I have just sent them the following message:


It is now a week since my account has been locked, and I have not yet had a response to my appeal.

To clarify: I do not believe the tweet highlighted is guilty of “hateful conduct”. The tweet concerned is clearly a joke to a friend, as publicly acknowledged by the person I sent it to here: https://twitter.com/zagrebista/status/1113524531342319617

I would also point out that the tweet concerned is from nine and a half years ago. To lock my account for a tweet this old is nothing short of utterly ridiculous.

Please respond to this message, and unlock my account.

John Hoare

As ever, I will keep you updated. As stated above, I could get my account unlocked immediately by deleting the tweet in question, but I really don’t see why I should do so.

Meanwhile, there are endless cunts on Twitter posting endlessly cunty things, without getting their account locked. Go figure.

UPDATE (17/04/19): Nothing yet from Twitter. I’ve just sent them another message:


It is now two weeks since my account was locked due to Twitter’s misinterpretation of a nine and a half year old tweet.

Please review my previous communications about this appeal and unlock my account. Two weeks is more than enough time for you to consider my appeal, and I have had no communication at all from Twitter during this time.


My pointless fight continues.

UPDATE (21/04/19): OK, I admit it. Last night I cracked, and deleted the “offending” tweet.

Account unlocked. Thank you for addressing this issue. Your account is now available for use. To prevent future lockouts or account suspension, please review the Twitter Rules and help us maintain a safe environment for everyone on Twitter.

Yes, you got that, everyone. Posting a stupid joke to a friend who wasn’t offended by it was somehow creating an unsafe environment on Twitter. Not all the Nazis, you understand. Just me calling a friend a cunt. Fine.

Incidentally, in the whole two and a half week period, I never got a single piece of communication regarding my appeals against the locking from Twitter. Brilliant.

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