As some of my readers may know, a few months ago I started a Twitter account called Yes, That’s A Twitr.
Unfortunately, today, when I went through a YouTube-related discussion thread and liked a dozen or so assorted tweets in relatively close succession (I’m a fast reader), the Twitter automated service decided that I was a bot and asked for my phone number.
There were no other options; just “give us a phone number”.
For somewhat obvious reasons (many of them, including “don’t want Twitter spam on my phone” and “if people decide to harass me, I want less avenues for that”), I’m not giving them my actual phone number.
(Yes, I do technically have one – how else would I do banking? But, if nothing else, I don’t want to rule out the opportunity to have a Twitter account for work eventually.)
I’m looking into the possibility of getting a cheap burner phone so that I can give them that.
This is a last resort, though (and I’m not sure if it’s even legally possible; EDIT: it isn’t, but there are common workarounds that are technically legal – on my end, at least*). I guess if there’s no reply by mid-December…
Supposedly, it’s a common problem and almost all support request resolve in the poor innocent guy’s favor within a week. I hope that this actually happens; honestly, with how little I tweet, a week doesn’t really matter.
(I might have to re-follow everyone I’ve followed, but that’s only like 7 people, and if needed I could probably find them again manually.)
But for the time being, I’m locked out of my Twitter.
(I also updated this on my Contact page, by the way.)
UPD Nov 29: my request was resolved and fixed in just 12 hours, and I’m back to my (normally minor) Twitter activity.
But just in case (maybe some other social network asks me for a phone number?), I might as well keep this post for posterity.
UPD Mar 3, 2018: same thing happened on Twitter again – and now probably for much longer.
I already tried emailing Twitter support, but they want me to send a message through the official forms.
Sadly, I cannot do this on my desktop because my current browser (Internet Explorer 11) does not work with Google captchas (and their form requires one), and I cannot do this on my smartphone because, as far as I can tell, their forms do not open in my smartphone’s browser.
Hopefully it will be fixed later this month if I manage to get access to another computer.
(And also hoping that this won’t lose me all the follows I did… I mean, I don’t have any followers worth mentioning, but having to find all the 20-odd random accounts I followed myself all over again would be darn tricky at best, and probably harder.)
UPD Mar 25, 2018: whatever bug prevented me from sending a new request had been fixed, and I successfully managed to send one. Hopefully it would be replied to by Monday.
UPD Mar 25, 2018, a hour later: unsuspended now, apparently. It happened so quickly that I didn’t really notice?
UPD Apr 2, 2018: suspended again, some of the bugs are still going. Come to think of it, maybe I am a Russian bot? I certainly appear to be one of those two…
UPD Apr 15, 2018: unsuspended, finally. Hoping against all probability that such suspensions will happen less commonly later (or, preferably, wouldn’t happen at all).
*) it’s illegal to sell a phone number/SIM card without associating a passport with it, but, as far as I can tell, it’s perfectly legal to buy one that way, and there’s a market; the most popular current workaround is apparently to register the numbers to a small corporation, in which case the buyers get a completely legal license to use the corporation’s phones