Lack of communication from Twitter as accounts are hit by bug

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Twitter appears to be experiencing some kind of database problem. Or perhaps it's a server problem. Whatever it is, we don't know, because despite hundreds of people suffering from it the company is keeping quiet about what's going on.
My account is one of those affected. It wouldn't be so frustrating if it hadn't been going on for nearly two days now, without a glimmer of explanation. All my followers have been wiped off my profile, and so were all the people I follow. As of yesterday I could only see the updates of two people (thanks, @brynmorgan and @rachel_h, for keeping me going). All my own updates are no longer visible to my followers, because they're not following me anymore. I've re-followed a few people, but it's basically like going back to square one, or being wiped off the face of the Twitter earth.
Twitter becomes more helpful the more you use it - you find interesting new people and you build up followers who respond to your updates. It actually takes work and effort to find the people you like, so to lose them all is a bit of a blow.
I'd like to ask Twitter what on earth is going on, and why it's taking so long to fix it. I don't think people would mind if they just let us know, but since I've signed up to the forum thread on this issue I've seen dozens of updates from people in a similar position who are similarly confused. I sent an email to their support desk, and had a hugely unhelpful automated message back saying, amongst other things, "If you want to delete your account, log in and click the 'delete my account' link in your settings page." No, Twitter, I do not want to delete my account. You have deleted it for me. And you won't tell me why. I'd ring your press office, but you don't have one.
Strangely, the problem seemed to get fixed overnight, only for everything to disappear again first thing this morning. And several people affected have mentioned an account called @monkeybutler19, who mentioned me in a tweet around the time my account died. I'm sure there's a perfectly simple explanation but a little bit of communication would be very welcome.

Update July 24 - Last night there were a few hours where it all seemed ok again. But by this morning, after Twitter carried out its so called "correcting" exercise where spammers were removed from people's follower lists, all my followers and all the people I followed had gone. So my account has been wiped out. The same thing happened to a couple of people I found on the forum for technical problems. Losing these people is extremely annoying - they were really useful for my job and it had taken me six months to build them up. Twitter is still ignoring me.  

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4 Comments

I've been affected to by this BUG and the most frustrating part is that anyone at Twitter were capable to give us an answer, or saying "we're working in this" or "sorry, but we have to delete all your following/followers because of this problem".... NOTHING!

To me, right now that I had to follow my contacts all over again (after 2 years and a half that i've been on Twitter) it seems like they're trying to hide this thing with the "Twitter correction"... SHAME ON THEM!

A very confused and dissapointed Twitter user,
@lapizmina

I've been affected to by this BUG and the most frustrating part is that anyone at Twitter were capable to give us an answer, or saying "we're working in this" or "sorry, but we have to delete all your following/followers because of this problem".... NOTHING!

To me, right now that I had to follow my contacts all over again (after 2 years and a half that i've been on Twitter) it seems like they're trying to hide this thing with the "Twitter correction"... SHAME ON THEM!

A very confused and dissapointed Twitter user,
@lapizmina

Hi there
Well, I am so happy that I am not alone!!! I have spent 3 months working my butt off to build an honest and professional following on Twitter that had become the center of my biz building venture. I started receiving very strange Tweets from Monkeybutler ( various numbers) over the past few days and also @followermonitor stating that I was unfollowing various people which I was not. I then set about blocking these accounts because they were spamming and annoying. The end result is that I woke up today to find that I had lost 7000 of 7 500 followers and 7000 people I followed. I seemed to be the only one who had suffered this huge loss until now.
I am very confused and frustrated by this. I know that I can re-build but who is to say that it won't happen again. If I knew a reason, then I could correct it but I don't believe that there is one.
This is my personal account that has been affected. I have another more marketing focused account that had no impact.
I know that Twitter will not do anything about my experience but it hurts. I learn to focus on other social media areas and I will move forward. I would appreciate hearing other people's stories too.

Many thanks for sharing.
Clare Kelway

Hi Rebecca
Thank you that I have found someone who has had the same experience as me with Twitter over the past 24 hours.
I lost 7000 followers and people I follow out of 7 500!!! I had had some very strange activity with monkey butler accounts over the past few days and had blocked them along with followermonitor yesterday afternoon. I woke up to Twitter devastation today! I too have spent 3 months building up a professional following on Twitter and I am not a spammer in any shape or form. I know that Twitter doesn't care and that we need to use social media as a means to build our following, not as our following. Tough lessons learned but I shall be more careful where/how I spend my energy going forward because it could easily happen again, unless we are given some clue as to why we were targeted!
Thanks again for highlighting your case. I do feel a little better now, knowing that i am not alone.
Clare Kelway
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This page contains a single entry by published on July 23, 2009 4:03 PM.

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