Twitter suspended accounts of 9to5Mac and XDA Developers on Thursday due to not meeting its minimum age requirements. The suspension came into effect after the publishers changed the birth date in their accounts. It was lifted for the XDA Developers account hours after the restriction, though the account of 9to5Mac was not fully recovered at the time of filing this article. Interestingly, both accounts are verified by Twitter and carried the iconic Blue badge that is meant to make them distinct from the masses on the platform. The 9to5Mac account is also a part of Twitter Blue Publishers network that was introduced last year for US-based publishers to provide ad-free articles to Twitter users and support online publishers with monetisation.
Seth Weintraub, the publisher of 9to5Mac, took to Twitter using his personal account to report the suspension. He shared a screenshot showing a notice that reads, "In order to create a Twitter account, you must be at least 13 years old. Twitter has determined that you don't meet these age requirements, so your account has been locked and will be removed from Twitter."
The company also asked the publisher to report it directly in case the account was locked in error.
Weintraub told Gadgets 360 that he used multiple ways to complain about the issue but the account was still not fully recovered. "There is pedestrian logic in their lockout mechanism," he said. "But then there are also no fail-safes for Verified or Twitter Blue Publishers."
The account in question started to show some recovering signs at the time of publishing the article.
The incident took place when 9to5Mac's social media manager Arin Waichulis was promoted to enter a birth date to do Ticketed Spaces — paid audio conversations — on the platform.
"Arin updated the birth date of the account to his since Twitter was likely going to ask for a proof of ID," Weintraub told Gadgets 360.
However, that move resulted in the locking of the account as he was not of 13 years age when the 9to5Mac account was originally created about 14 years ago — back in August 2008.
According to Twitter's age requirements, people on the platform must be 13 years of age or older. It also requires users to remove their earlier data if they had signed up for an account before they were 13 years old. But nonetheless, the company does not have any specific age requirement-related policy for organisations.
The account restriction also came in place for XDA Developers, as reported by its Editor in Chief Aamir Siddiqui on Twitter. However, the XDA Developers account came back a few hours after it was locked.
Gadgets 360 has reached out to Twitter for a comment on the matter and will update this article when the company responds.
It is important to point out that the issue of removing organisation accounts for not meeting its age requirements is not new for Twitter. It came into some reports in 2018 as well. The company also faced some outrage on the Web for permanently locking users out of their account if they had created them under the age of 13.
Back then, Twitter also acknowledged the problem and apologised to the affected users. However, the issue seems to still have been in place and is impacting some publishers — not just individual users.