Twitter Experiment Ends (Revisited)

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Well my account was restored about 3 weeks ago, but I've not posted anything new. This is due in large part to my discovery of Actually, there is only a lone post under my profile there too. Go figure. Anyway, I thought it would be humorous and perhaps helpful to explain what occurred and ultimately why I will not be using twitter very much anymore.

Below is an excerpt from the Twitter help desk with their rationale for suspending my account.

Hi there,

Your account was suspended because it posted updates that indicated that your account was in actuality compromised. Updates may have been indicative of the Koobface virus ( or indicative of you giving your username and password out to a 3rd party website that promised "more followers fast!" Unfortunately, the vast majority of these third party sites are actually fronts for phishing and have already been implicated in the selling of usernames and passwords. As a result, we are taking precautionary measures and notifying you that you've been sending out updates that you may not have wanted to sent out. Some of these sites also have downloaded Koobface onto users' computers.

Your account should now be unsuspended; please only reopen this ticket if you encounter further issues. It is, however, extremely important that you take the following actions:

a. Scan your computers for viruses / malware, especially if
unauthorized tweets continue to be posted in your accounts even after
you've changed the password.

b. Use a password that you don't use anywhere else and never use the
former password on a compromised account. Create a new and difficult
password unique to Twitter that consists of both letters and numbers

c. Check the Connections page at and revoke the access
privileges of any third party applications that you do not recognize.

d. Avoid providing your username and/or e-mail and password to
untrusted third-party sites.

e. Remove any updates that you did not post personally; leaving these
updates can result in your account being re-suspended.

I did not bother to reply to the help desk. After reading this I immediately gathered that the help staffers are part-time folks, likely working from home. I received identical replies from different admins. The reply is a classical scripted response. The admins made the mortal mistake in that they assumed I was using M$ windows. Secondly, they assumed that my machine had been compromised and assimilated into a some weird bot net.

All wrong assumptions. I have been using Linux since '96. None of my machines have ever been 0wned or have I ever seen any malware on my LAN.

Now that Twitter has been poking in the dark with assumptions. I'll tell you what likely happened. I utilize a proxy which kills ads and also helps mask browser client information. Pairing this software with TOR, my network traffic is scrubbed and fairly sanitized.
Apparently, Twitter spends its cycles tracking client IP addresses and will suspend an account that appears to be using different IP addresses in real time. So, once they observed this behavior they _assumed_ that my computer was part of a malicious botnet.
Hilarious, but quite annoying. Anyway, I have discovered and the alpha geeks live there :-)

Like other social networks, once they become mainstream they become crap. If Oprah is using it, I probably shouldn't be there.

You can follow me at my new account.

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    This page contains a single entry by AG published on September 21, 2009 5:18 AM.

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