Why I disappeared from Twitter

nusenu
nusenu
Jan 12 · 4 min read

Since there have been some speculations and questions around why all of a sudden I disappeared from twitter I’d figure I give you with my side of the story.

TLDR: I don’t know why my account got suspended and my appeal was turned down.

Initially I created my twitter account in February 2016 but since it required a phone number verification I was not able to actually use it until a year later when someone made a small donation for my first medium blog post that allowed me to pay for an online SMS service to pass the twitter phone number verification check. After passing it, I removed the number from the account again since it was a temporary number only. The account sign up and verification process was completed using Tor Browser.

Initially the account was linked to an openmailbox.org email address but when that provider died I changed it to my riseup.net address. Unfortunately Twitter appears to somewhat ignore riseup.net addresses and would stop deliver notifications even though the email verification process was passed and it would display correctly in the Twitter account settings. Somehow the old openmailbox.org address remained stuck in that account even though it is not visible in the account settings. I noticed that when they required me to type in my account email address when they suspect someone else logged into my account due to my use of Tor Browser (changing IP addresses). They always asked for the openmailbox.org address instead of the actually configured riseup.net address. I suspect the fact that I’m using riseup might have contributed to the account suspension.

This is how the account profile looked shortly before it got suspended:

As of 2020–01–12 the account is suspended and its tweets are no longer accessible:

“Was this you?”

As a Tor Browser user I’m used to messages like the one bellow. These messages are somewhat expected due to the nature of changing IP addresses when using different Tor exit relays over time.

The worst that would happened was a forced password change and after changing the password everything worked fine again.

Unlike such past events, on 2020–01–03 they required a phone number verification so I provided an online phone number once again. After that I would remove the number again, but everytime I removed the number twitter required it again, so I kept the number in the account setting and enabled two factor authentication (via TOTP not via text messages).

Timeline

2020–01–03 account got suspended by Twitter without notification (last tweet happened on the same day)

2020–01–03 I submitted an appeal for the account suspension via twitter’s contact form.

2020–01–06: Job Snijders tweets:

Side note on “@nusenu_” vs. “@nusenu”: Initially “@nusenu” was not available as it was in used by an (inactive) account. At some point it became available at which I switched from “@nusenu_” to “@nusenu”.

2020–01–07:

2020–01–07: Twitter unlocks the account without any notification and I’m able to use it normally again. I’m not sure why it got unlocked since there has been no notification about it by twitter.

2020–01–10: The account gets suspended again and Twitter sends the following reply to my appeal from 2020–01–03:

Hello,
We’re writing to let you know that your account has been suspended due to multiple or repeat violations of our rules.
Please do not reply to this email, or send us new appeals for this account as we won’t monitor them.
Thanks,
Twitter

As you can see that email by Twitter support is not very useful if you would like to learn why they suspended your account and rejected your appeal. Apparently they are known for their bad reputation:

Goodbye Twitter People

So after 3 years and ~1100 tweet I’m forced to say goodbye to twitter people, see you on mailing lists or mastodon. Keep pushing on RPKI based routing security and tor network safety issues and be mindful of the powers that platforms have over your ability to freely communicate!

nusenu

Written by

nusenu

Tor, Routing Security and DNS Privacy related Topics. https://mastodon.social/@nusenu

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