Feliciano.Tech

Be Careful Setting a Project's Birthday on Twitter

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Recently I discovered a nasty glitch in Twitter’s Terms of Service that can completely shut down your account for days. Here’s what happened.

When editing your Twitter profile, the help text says:

This should be your date of birth, whether this account is for your business, event, or even your cat.

Cool, so for my new blog or open source project, I can set today as the birthday right? Wrong!

Twitter (understandably) has a policy not allowing people under the age of 13 to use its service. Many people create Twitter accounts for their business, project, or even meetup group. Twitter even suggest doing so! Most Twitter accounts created for these types of things are for projects that are new. They’re likely not yet 13 years or older. What this means is, if you set a birthday for that account and include the year, your account will immediately be suspended!

This happened to me recently when creating the Twitter account for my new blog Siren Café. On launch day, I set the birthday to that same day, and Twitter suspended the account ruining that marketing channel for me on launch day. I had to choose between delaying the launch, or launching without Twitter. I did the latter.

To rectify the issue, Twitter has a form you need to fill out as well as upload a picture of your photo ID. I reluctantly complied, feeling very uncomfortable having to upload a picture of my state driver’s license to them just to have an account for a personal project. I had to wait 4 days with absolutely no access to the Twitter account before they verified my identity and re-enabled the account.

Solution

Filling out birthday information on your Twitter profile? Do one of these two things to not be affected by this silly issue:

  • Don’t set a birthday. It doesn’t matter if the privacy setting is public or private, just don’t set it.
  • Lie about the age of the project/business and set the birth year to something that would be over 13 years old. 2005 or previous years.
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