May 27, 2023

Don't Look Now, But Twitter Is Suddenly Experiencing A Wave of Suspensions

Some users are now unable to access Twitter at all, for unknown reasons.

Don't Look Now, But Twitter Is Suddenly Experiencing A Wave of Suspensions
Photo by Christian Lue / Unsplash

Twitter hasn't been doing so well lately. Back in December, The Verge reported a rash of errors plaguing the social media service that made it unusable for most visitors. On March 1st, Twitter's timeline feature was reported to just plain not function at all.

Now, a wave of suspensions have hit various users on the website, mostly under the flag of "suspension evasion". According to a keyword search on Twitter itself, there's a steady uptick of complaints that began the previous night, and have continued into the time of this article's publication. There are also a few threads on Reddit filled with disgruntled users talking about their recent Twitter suspension.

Here's what we know about the wave of sanctions and how it may (or may not) be working.

It Doesn't Appear To Be Ideology Based

The search term "Twitter suspended" or even just "suspended" will return users from different walks of life who are complaining about their alternate accounts being locked down. While a great deal of artists are using the timeline feature to report in, it doesn't ascertain a complete bias against that type of Twitter user.

There's Hardly Any Solid Data Tying Most Suspensions Together, But Users Are Looking

While a thread of possible theories is floating around on Twitter right now, we simply don't have a solid answer as to what tripped the wire and started the suspension wave. There's currently an effort to pool names of users affected by the suspensions to understand their connection; that probably won't work, because the data would still be biased. There are some users who might have only had one account and gotten that single account suspended, and can't voice their opinion at all.

James Woods Might Have Been Caught In The Suspension, But This Was Fixed Back Again

Around 1pm EST today, James Woods tweeted a complaint about his account being locked for posting a violent video. Elon Musk himself responded to the tweet; Woods' account is now functioning normally. Was Woods caught in the same suspension wave, or was he reported manually?

This interaction also shows the only instance where Musk has reponded directly to someone about a locked account during this time. Currently, we're not seeing Twitter Support or staff respond to suspension complaints.

Twitter's Infrastructure Failure Can Have Catastrophic Consequences For Niche Communities

We normally don't cover social media on The Metaculture. However, it's possible we're entering a future of incredible information loss if these infrastructure failures continue. Last night, one of our personal accounts was caught in the suspension wave; that timeline in particular shared a lot of information about VR, events, and resources related to the field.

Twitter is filled with many niche communities who have come to rely on the service over the years. If gradually increasing failures are dotting the horizon, then it might be time to consider archiving important information and devising an escape plan.