You might have already read about it in the news elsewhere: The Twitter account of security researcher Mikko H. Hyppönen of F-Secure got suspended without warning two days ago. Mikko tried to contact Twitter support and tried everything in his power to understand why his Twitter account was suspended in first place. He received a short message by a Twitter representative after two days that mentioned why his account was suspended and that it was unsuspended.
Here is how Mikko describes what happended in his blog: He posted a warning about a new MySpace phishing website two month ago as a tweet using his Twitter account. This message contained an unclickable url of the phishing website to warn users and spread the word.
Twitter, after two months, figured that the url was a phishing url and made the decision to suspend the account. It is not clear if this was an automatic or manual suspension. The Twitter account of Mikko was restored after two days and the following explanations was given:
I’ve unsuspended your acct.
You were suspended for using the malware URL rnyspeceDOTcom in DMs.
We scan evrythng for malware.
To make matters worse all of his followers and people that he followed were not restored. Both counts showed 0.
The whole incident raises several questions:
- Why was the Twitter account banned after two months and not immediately?
- Why did no one notify the Twitter user about the suspension
- Why did it take two days to restore the account
- Why can't the followers and followed be restored
Twitter's reaction fell short and put the blame on the Twitter user rather on an ineffective way of handling the incident. Until things change Twitter users should be very careful what they post in Twitter.