Some of you know that we had a crisis with the @GreenMoms Twitter feed over the Thanksgiving holiday. It disappeared.
Poof. 72,000+ followers, just gone…in Twitter
Hell Account Suspension-Land. Which, it turns out, is a pretty mysterious place, without any instant communication – 140 characters or not.
It was incredibly frustrating to deal with this, especially coming as it did during our Black Friday carnival. (We resisted the temptation to think our ill-timed suspension was a corporate plot to block our anti-consumerist messages on the biggest shopping day of the year! Although Lisa of Condo Blues did blog, “Does Twitter Hate Green Moms?”).
But thanks to a lot of support from our friends online – one of whom, Maryanne Conlin(aka MC Milker), even intervened behind the scenes at Twitter HQ – and a diligent Twitter customer service rep, we finally got our account back on November 30th. On December 7th, I received an email from Twitter support explaining that @GreenMoms had been caught in a spam filter.
It was frustrating on a personal level, and frankly, scary on a professional level. I thought of the many Twitter accounts I’ve launched for clients – accounts that are now lifelines for many non-profits and green businesses. What if a mysterious “account suspension” happened to them? Or what if it happened to an activist relying on Twitter for communications during a crisis situation?
Much has been made of Twitter as today’s best source for breaking news and citizen journalism. But can Twitter live up to this ideal if well established accounts can be made to suddenly disappear, with no recourse, no response, no explanation for days? And what of the many organizations that have come to rely on Twitter as an integral communications channel? As the old saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
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