Update: Okay, I’m back. No need to bug Twitter.
On March 28, I reported a repeated and prolific abuser to Twitter. I didn’t hear from them again until today, when I received the following message:
The account you have reported has been suspended and the profile has been hidden from public view. If this user writes in, we’ll be sure to explain our policies regarding this issue before they are allowed to return to the site.
After six months of no action, my trust in Twitter support was low, so I decided to check this user’s profile. Nope. They were still active. Still, I thought maybe they were in the process of handling the ticket and the matter would be resolved soon.
Then I tried to retweet someone from my phone app.
It turns out, after five months of no action, Twitter managed to compound the problem by making Twitter unusable for me. This is a serious degradation of the situation. I reported this harasser, not because they tweet at me, though do quite a bit, but because they also harass people who interact with me because those people interact with me. I simply have enough tweets directed at me to get Twitter’s attention and demonstrate this is an ongoing problem.
Even if it takes them five months to bring that attention around.
But now Twitter has made it so I can’t tweet at all, due to their sheer inattention to detail. This is a problem. This is a real problem.
People have been tweeting at Twitter all afternoon about this. So far, I’ve only seen this response. (Yes, I can see all this.)
— Twitter Support (@Support) September 5, 2014
I’ve responded to the email Support sent me. I’ve appealed the suspension and responded to the automatic email that generates. And the abusive user form is the one Twitter just took more than five months to respond to. No, I’m not going to fill out that form. It doesn’t have any fields relevant to this situation, and they mostly ignore it. They need to fix this, and they need to fix this now. Then they need to apologize. This is not an acceptable way to treat someone who has been harassed, even by Twitter’s lax standards. So help spread this around. Yell at Twitter. It seems to be the only way to get things done. In the meantime, feel free to play the “Who will actually be suspended?” game. I know who Twitter has–finally–agreed should be suspended. Whose account do you think will disappear whenever Twitter gets around to fixing this? Will it be one of these?
— Arpit Chauhan (@Arpit_Chauhan) September 5, 2014
Sara Mayhew was suspended because she continued to tweet at people who had blocked her, just like all the people above have done to me. She received a warning, which she tweeted, then ignored. Then she was suspended. It’s not hypocrisy to think someone with a long history of violating Twitter’s rules should be suspended when someone who follows them shouldn’t.
So who will it be?