I have been using twitter since February and it has been great.

I had over 1600 followers and was the 7th most popular twitterer in Leeds.  It took a lot of time and effort – but the returns were there in as much as my network was considerably expanded both at the very local and international level.  I used twitter to network with a wide range of people who shared my passion for management, leadership, enterprise and entrepreneurship.  I had even found new clients through twitter recommendations!

But on July 22nd something strange happened.  All of my followers were ‘lost’ as was nearly everyone that I follow.

I logged a support request with Twitter which they immediately deemed closed without any communication or investigation that I could see.

As some of my followers got wind of what had happened they started to to put the word out and people slowly started to follow me again.  This was a wonderful and humbling response as many people really missed my presence in their networks.

Then, today, without explanation, Twitter suspended my account.  As far as I can see I have not transgressed any of their guidelines and I do not use any automated systems to refollow or direct message people.  Many creative, constructive and potentially commercially important conversations have been disrupted.

So beware if you are investing much time in Twitter.  I would hate the same thing to happen to you.

28th July Addendum

Had some help from @delbius who works for Twitter support.  Apparently my account was trashed by a ‘bug’.  It has now been reinstated and most of the people I follow have been restored.  However my network of followers has not – at least not yet.


  1. I believe that there was a purge of spam accounts last week as most people saw a chunk of followers wiped from their accounts. It looks like your own account got caught up in that somehow.

    • This was way more than just a purge of spammers Adi. Went down from 1600 to 4! I had just started to rebuild and they have now suspended my account. #twitterfail

  2. That is strange. They seem to have left your ‘work’ account alone but squashed your @mikechitty one. One of the big problems with these massive social networks is that the customer support is practically non-existent.

  3. That’s just so wrong :/ it takes ages to get a great network together. Can you get folks to tweet to Twitter that your account is valid? I hope you get your account back as it was.

  4. Hi Mike,

    This is a real cautionary tale. That is, cautionary about trusting social networking tools.

    I’ve retweeted your story. I hope they can help you rebuild quickly.


    • Thanks Liz. Best part of a week on and they haven’t even acknowledged the problem. They have also removed my support requests. I am not holding my breathe!

  5. I saw a similar blog the other day from Newcastle City Council – suddenly suspended for no reason…

  6. Sure, it’s a pain in the ass for you, but did you mistake Twitter for a social network? 1600 followers? More line #tweeterfail, than #twitterfail. No sympathy.

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