Today: account @t unlocked after asking Twitter friend 24hr after support request. He escalated, vouched.

2017-05-12 CORRECTION: Timing was coincidence, normal support had unlocked @t by the time my friend went to escalate it internally. Timeline:

+00h 2017-05-09 13:15 email notification: “Your Twitter account has been locked”
+07h 2017-05-09 20:17 filed support request, email confirmation: “Case# ___: Appealing a locked account - @t
+29h 2017-05-10 18:25 pinged a friend at Twitter (but he didn’t get around to escalating until after the following)
+37h 2017-05-11 02:49 follow-up email: “Case# ___: Appealing a locked account - @t


We have restored your account, and we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Twitter takes reports of violations of the Twitter Rules very seriously. After reviewing your account, it looks like we made an error.

Twitter Support

This is a well written support email, however reveals something disturbing. Having been attacked in the past with numerous reset attempts, phishing attempts, nevermind outright email demands to hand over my single letter Twitter account, I suspected that trolls may have taken the next step and group-reported (perhaps with bots?) my account as an attack.

I’m guessing that Twitter has an automated system that locks an account after some number of different accounts have reported it for abuse. Eventually a human reviews the account in question and makes a determination but who knows how long that might take. (2017-05-12  UPDATE: Apparently in this case ~30 hours after a support request)

This leaves open the possibility for a targeted denial of service attack of sorts, on any account you use on any service. I would expect that accounts on "free" services are particularly vulnerable, as without a paying relationship, the services are driven more by incentives to please advertisers (thus the "mass appeal" of free content in aggregate), rather than the users.

In theory, this should mean that such "mass report abuse" denial of service attempts should be less effective on accounts you pay for, like your own domain name, your web host, and your internet service provider, who have more incentive to keep you as a paying customer.

In addition if your account on a paid service is locked or otherwise has a problem, I would also expect a quicker response from support.

In actual examples of problems with my accounts, I have had support requests to my web host and internet service provider handled within hours if not minutes.

Another trade-off to consider when deciding what to use for your primary online identity and content: an account on a free service potentially more vulnerable to such attacks and longer support delays, or an account on a paid service, likely less vulnerable, with faster support response times.

on (ttk.me t4oH1) using BBEdit