Dear CIOL Community
Some of you may have noticed that, for a reason we have not yet been able to establish, Twitter suspended our @CIOLinguists account and three others (@CIOL_GLS, @Linguist_CIOL and @CIOLEducation) at 6pm on 19th December 2021.
We immediately set about correcting this and establishing what the cause or pretext for suspension might be. The Twitter Rules cite safety, privacy and authenticity as the primary reasons for suspension, so we immediately filled out the online form that suspended accounts are directed to. We went on to email Twitter Support on the 21, 22 and 29 December and on 1 and 4 January asking for further information and offering to rectify any issues immediately; this having completed the online form a further three times.
So far we have had no response. No telephone number or other means of contact are provided by Twitter Support. On Wednesday 5 January we tweeted directly to Twitter Support:
@TwitterSupport case # 0241860073 @CIOLinguists was suspended on 19 Dec at 6pm. We immediately appealed; we haven't been told what it is for. We emailed 21, 22, 29 Dec, 1 and 4 Jan having completed your online form 3 times. Please tell me and @DebCatButler what you want us to do?
We repeated this tweet later the same day and again on Thursday 6 January in the evening to catch the US morning timezone.
In terms of what may have caused the suspension, absent a response from Twitter we can only speculate - but we have come up with three possible causes:
Some kind of algorithmic update which has affected many accounts and is causing a backlog with Twitter, which is slowing down their Support team
Some sort of multiple user problem triggered by a coincidence of action with the other accounts: @CIOL_GLS (the CIOL German Language Society) @Linguist_CIOL (The Linguist) and @CIOLEducation (the CIOL Education Society).
Something deemed inappropriate triggered by the promotion of, or Twitter comments following our ‘Swearing Blindly’ webinar on interpreting and translating taboo words held on 17 December 2021.
We had hoped it would be resolved over the Christmas period and certainly in the first week ‘back to work’ in January. This has not come to pass.
We will continue to tweet respectfully and seek to engage Twitter Support. We would ask, whatever you may feel about this suspension, that you pause before criticising Twitter. The situation will not be helped by negative tweets.
Our hope is that this is an algorithmic or administrative error on Twitter’s part; but if we have violated their rules in some way we will want to maintain a positive dialogue on how we can rectify this and return quickly to business as usual – advancing Universal Understanding.
With our thanks
John Worne and Judith Gabler
Chief Executive and CIOL Chair