On July 1, Twitter either temporarily limited or locked more than 20 accounts owned by M/s Apption Digital Technologies Pvt. Ltd. or by its promoter Amit Bagaria, without any proper reason or justification. |
When the accounts were first temporarily limited or locked on 1st / 2nd July just after midnight, got the following two types of messages (one type in a few accounts and the other type in the balance accounts) from Twitter:
“We’ve temporarily limited some of your account features”
Creating a safer environment for people to freely express themselves is critical to the Twitter community, so if behaviour that may violate the Twitter Rules is detected, certain account features become limited. Since it appears that this account is owned by someone who has recently been permanently suspended for abuse, we’ve temporarily limited some of your account features. While in this state, you can still browse Twitter, but you’re limited to only sending Direct Messages to your followers – no Tweets, Retweets, or likes. You will be able to unlock your account in: 6 days and 23 hours.
There was a big untruth in this message – the account is owned by a company – Apption Digital Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which did not have any Twitter account ever, so how could it have been permanently suspended for abuse? None of the 28 accounts had been “permanently suspended” at that time.
The second type of message was:
“Your account has been locked” Your account appears to have exhibited suspicious behaviour. To unlock your account, please complete the steps below and confirm that you are a valid account owner. To unlock your account, you must do the following: Verify your phone number (there was a link button)
When company executives carried out the steps of verifying the phone number associated with each account, while we got messages saying the verification was successful and the account is now fully functional, we could not access any of the accounts at all.
On July 3, at about 1:45pm, two of the largest accounts (both of which were “verified”) were restored with the following apology from Twitter:
Hello, your account is now unlocked, and we’re sorry for the inconvenience. Twitter has automated systems that find and remove automated spam accounts and it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake. This sometimes happens when an account exhibits automated behaviour in violation of the Twitter Rules.
If one reads the “Twitter Rules” no one will understand anything. They are all very vague and read like the constitution of North Korea, if there is one. Secondly, none of our accounts have any automated operations. Anyways, Twitter clearly admitted that it was there mistake. To our utter shock and disbelief, just five hours later, Twitter suspended not just these two accounts, but all the others as well, with the following message:
Your account has been suspended for violating the Twitter Rules. Specifically for” “Violating our rules against managing multiple Twitter accounts for abusive purposes.” You may not create multiple accounts for abusive purposes, or try to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts. Note that if you attempt to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts, we will suspend your new accounts. If you wish to appeal this suspension, please contact our support team.
First of all, creating multiple accounts IS NOT A VIOLATION as Twitter allows it. For example, the Times of India runs 8 accounts, CNN runs 7. Many organizations have multiple accounts used for different purposes.
Each of our accounts had a different purpose, given below:
1) @MyVoteToday - (VERIFIED since July 2016) this is the world’s largest political/social polling platform
2) @PeopleNChoices http://www.peoplenchoices.com - (VERIFIED since March 2018) this is India’s largest consumer polling platform
3) @SportsPollsIND - a new platform recently created to do only sports polls
4) @Vote4Bollywood - a new platform recently created to do only Bollywood related polls
5) Poll Court - an old platform which does polls ONLY on social media disputes
6) MyVOTR - a handle that ONLY tweets results of polls conducted by one of the above five handles
7) MyDebateToday - the only Twitter Debating platform in India
8) @RealFreshNews - posts news mainly about celebrities reaching Twitter milestones
9) @Unreported_News - posts important news (once in a while) reported on foreign media, but not in Indian media
10) @ArusAdvisors - the handle of our new business offering Growth Hacking services
11) @apptiondigital - the handle our our parent company based in PALO ALTO
12) @DebateRoom01 till 20) @DebateRoom09 - nine handles were created to start Twitter debates on individual topics, i.e., break up the debates conducted on @MyDebateToday into different subjects/topics.
Also locked or suspended were these 8 handles that have nothing to do with Apption Digital, MyVoteToday or any of the above handles:
21) @RealAmitBagaria – a personal handle
22) @MoreBooks4India - a handle created with the purpose of encouraging more people to write and read books in India
23) @NDAvsUPA - a handle that compares the NDA government versus the UPA government 24) @TruthAboutIndia - the name is enough to describe the purpose
25) @2022_NewIndia - the name suggests what this handle is about
MULTIPLE HANDLES ARE NOT BOTS, as they have proper names (in our case, describing what the purpose is, such as @MyDebateToday, @SportsPollsIND, @Vote4Blywood, etc.). Also, each of our handles had a separate logo (DP), cover photo and BIO. Generally, bots have computer-generated names like @ddiok6kg4jgd and Eggheads as Logo (DP).
WE DID NOT CREATE THESE ACCOUNTS FOR ABUSIVE PURPOSES. TWITTER HAS TO PROVE ITS CLAIM.
When we contacted their support team, all we got is this automated message: Hello, your account was permanently suspended due to multiple or repeat violations of the Twitter Rules. This account will not be restored. This case will now be closed and replies will not be monitored.
Look at the conflicts: Twitter first started by saying:
1) if behaviour that may violate the Twitter Rules is detected, certain account features become limited; then
2) Twitter has automated systems that find and remove automated spam accounts and it looks like your account got caught up in one of these spam groups by mistake, followed by:
3) You may not create multiple accounts for abusive purposes, or try to evade a permanent suspension by creating new accounts. If you wish to appeal this suspension, please contact our support team; and finally:
4) Your account was permanently suspended due to multiple or repeat violations of the Twitter Rules. This account will not be restored.
All of this in just three days. And that, too, without any activity from our end, as we could not use our Twitter accounts during this period. If a parent slaps a child one day, says the next day that he or she was angry about something else and apologizes to the child, then murders the child five hours after the apology, the family and police will ask questions, won’t they.
We plan to ask Twitter to explain this erratic behaviour in a US court. Sounds like a bipolar disorder, which needs urgent treatment.
Twitter also involuntarily sent out Tweets to people updating them for reporting us. Some of these people DID NOT report us, and therefore either contacted us, or tweeted about it. Obviously, this was a mischievous wrongdoing by Twitter.
Some of our accounts were being used AS BUSINESS - we were doing surveys on behalf of brands and charging them money. As this was our only revenue generating activity, effective July 3, our revenue streams have stopped.
Twitter then (directly or indirectly) contacted India’s largest news agency, which sent out a press release, which was carried by almost all leading newspapers and TV channel’s websites in India. Obviously, this is defamation which has permanently harmed us in an irreparable manner.
Apart from a huge defamation suit that we will file in the US, we are also contemplating a criminal suit in India for cheating and fraud.
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