Adults on Twitter are being suspended if they were underage when they joined

Cal Jeffrey

Posts: 2,910   +762
Staff member

Users who were underage when they joined Twitter have begun receiving notices that their accounts have been suspended regardless of their current age.

“I received a message saying my account was now locked and would require parental consent in order to process my data, or my account will be deleted,” said one user who signed up in 2009 and is now 20.

Twitter withheld comment on the situation, but an insider told The Guardian that the company now has a policy to lock accounts established by kids retroactively. Since there is no way for Twitter to separate content that a user created before they turned 13 from later created content, the company’s only recourse to comply with GDPR is to suspend those whose birthdates place them underaged when they signed up.

"The issue stems from stronger requirements under GDPR around data protection for children."

The account deactivations appear to be a stop-gap measure until Twitter can devise a more permanent solution. In the meantime, users can reinstate their accounts by submitting some form of proof of age. However, at least one Reddit user reports that some persistence may be necessary to get an account unlocked.

So far, Twitter is the only social network that has taken such measures in response to the new European regulations. Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat declined to comment on their internal policies regarding the new rules, but there have been no reports of suspensions within those circles.

This is only the first of many ripples we will see caused by the GDPR.

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Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,152   +752
I'm currently blocked on Twitter for "botlike behavior" and had to add a phone to my account. Account limitation still not removed a week later after a few appeals. It happened around the time I was retweeting a lot of Elon Musk stuff.

Looks like they might be snowed under from GDPR related issues looking at this post. Ah well - at least that explains why it's hard to get a hold of less generic responses from support.

Darth Shiv

Posts: 2,152   +752
I hope they have legal grounds to sue Twitter.
Don't see on what grounds... Twitter not having the capability to separate the content sounds like a pretty flimsy defense though. Surely it's pretty basic for them to clean out old messages in certain date ranges?