In April 2020, Twitter no longer lets you send texts to post a tweet by SMS on your smartphone or mobile device. I missed the memo.
Twitter has an inactive account policy. A Twitter account is considered active when that account has a “log in and Tweet at least every 6 months.” That policy also states that “Accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity.”
If any Twitter account, whether active or inactive, is using your registered trademark as its username, you may be able to obtain rights to that username. Check the Trademark Policy for what counts as a violation. Then you can report a trademark issue.
What if you don’t have a trademark? You can request access to an inactive Twitter username if you have some kind of a right to use it, because it is your name, your brand name, or something else you can show Twitter to make a case for why you should be granted that username.
Requesting an inactive Twitter username
Follow these instructions by Richard Lazazzera for How to Claim an Inactive Twitter Username. Even though there isn’t a specific form for claiming an inactive username, the process for reporting a Twitter username for impersonation will suffice.
You do have several options when reporting an account for impersonation, to indicate that an account is pretending “to be me or someone I know” or “to be or represent my company, brand, or organization.”
Upload documentation to prove you’re authorized
What does this look like? Here’s the example wording of an email you would receive after submitting the impersonation form:
We have received your report on the impersonation of someone you represent on Twitter.
Our next steps:
First, we need to confirm that you are authorized to represent this individual. Below you’ll find instructions and a link you can use to upload copies of documentary proof. Then we’ll review and process your report. We can’t review your report until the documentation is received.
Your next steps:
In order to confirm that you are authorized to represent this individual, please review the instructions below and upload the requested documentation. Please make sure to upload a legible copy so we can review the full name and photo on the ID. This information will be kept confidential and your documentation will be deleted.
Choose one of the following options, then click on the link below to upload the requested document(s):
* A copy of the impersonated individual’s valid government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport).
* If you are claiming impersonation against an account that is not using the individual’s legal name, you will need to include documentary evidence that the legal name is connected to the name you are reporting (i.e., proof of registration of the trade name or pseudonym).
* Documentation stating that you have authority to act on the impersonated individual’s behalf (e.g., agent’s agreement, power of attorney, etc.).
* A copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (e.g., driver’s license, passport).
* A copy of your business card.
Twitter may release the inactive username after authorization
When the Twitter Trust & Safety team has determined that you’re authorized to make the request, you might receive an email that looks like this:
The account you have reported does not violate our impersonation policy, but it is currently inactive. We can release this username for your brand’s use by transferring the username to a Twitter account that you manage. We can either rename an account you currently have or transfer the username to a new placeholder account that you create.
To proceed with the transfer, simply reply to this email with the username of the account you want renamed with the requested username. This could be an existing Twitter account that you want renamed or a new placeholder account (for example, twitter.com/temp123 or @temp123). Once we receive the username for the existing account you want renamed or placeholder account, we will apply the requested username to it.
A username transfer only changes the username of your account. All the existing content on your existing or placeholder account (followers, Tweets) will remain intact. Similarly, a username change will not affect your existing followers, direct messages, or @replies. Your followers will simply see a new username next to your picture when you Tweet. Since other users will need to @mention and message you at your new username, you may find it helpful to post a Tweet to let your followers know that you’ve selected a new username.
After the transfer, your previous or temporary placeholder username will be released immediately for use by other accounts.
When Twitter releases an inactive username for you
A Twitter username gets released when Twitter transfers the inactive username to your account, whether its a placeholder one or an active one. Here’s an example of the success email:
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We’ve now associated the username with the account you specified.
If you’re using email addresses from your official company domain, please be sure the accounts are registered with emails at that domain. This makes it much easier to assist you if you lose access to any of your accounts in the future.
Hope this information is helpful to you. May the odds be ever in your favor.
Employees will come and go over the course of time, that’s part of the circle of work life. And there are times when an ex-employee has login information to a Twitter account (or whatever social network, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, etc) and it wasn’t captured by the company for whatever reason. How can your company or organization recover that Twitter account, especially important when that is the corporate voice on social media? Each social network has its own procedures and policies.
From my research and attempt to recover an organizational account, the short answer from Twitter is: “Sorry, we can’t help you. We require verification of either the email address and/or mobile number tied to the account in order to access it.”
Unfortunately, Twitter does not seem willing to disclose the email address associated with a Twitter username. For your company or organization, you’d probably have an easier time gaining access to your ex-employee’s email inbox, and if so, send a reset-password command for the Twitter account and hope the reset info comes to that inbox.
However, if your company has a trademark associated with that Twitter username, then you’ve got another route to recover access to the Twitter account. Fill out the Report a trademark issue form to confirm that you are the trademark holder or authorized representative, and related info for the federal or international trademark registration number.
A most important lesson to learn from incidents like this, Ex-Employee Sued $340,000 Over Twitter Account And What It Means To You, is for companies and organizations to secure login access to all of its digital properties: social media, websites, emails, servers, etc etc. Treat digital properties as seriously and diligently as securing keys and locks for physical buildings and assets.
Some other responses on how to navigate this topic of getting login access to a specific Twitter username and/or company account via Quora:
- How can I get access (without the password) to a Twitter account set up by an ex-employee?
- Is it possible to acquire a Twitter username from an inactive user?
- How can I take over an inactive Twitter account? It’s been inactive for half a year.
- If a Twitter username is registered but not actively used, what are the best ways to get it?
- How can I request access to email/facebook/twitter accounts of a dead person?
from the American Way magazine (8/15/08 edition), Barbecue: The New Health Food —
… a recent university study shows that the fat in brisket is akin to
olive oil. (Warning: The next sentence gets all sciencey.) In her
master’s thesis, Texas A&M graduate student Stacey Turk revealed
that brisket fat contains a goodly amount of oleic acid, a beneficial
monounsaturated fatty acid that can raise levels of good cholesterol
and lower total cholesterol. (Breathe easy: Sciencey stuff is over.)
In other words, you can melt the fat cap and dress your salad with it.
Yummy yummy for my tummy!