Twitter users who used a relatively innocuous word on Sunday suddenly found their accounts banned. Despite the social media site since claiming the glitch that caused the bans is now fixed, Twitter users are still rather puzzled why they were punished in the first place.
Twitter issued a fix for a bug that was banning anyone who used the word “Memphis.” The affected users apparently have all had their accounts restored, but the mystery bans lasted several hours for some. Eventually, the social media site issued a statement apologizing for the issue and assuring users the bans would stop.
Some Twitter users pointed out that the ban bug only affected people who used the word in a very specific way. Those who spelled out Memphis by either capitalizing the word as someone would when talking about the city or using all caps apparently avoided getting dinged. However, if a user typed “memphis,” in all lower case, they would immediately get a warning and have their accounts locked.
Multiple baffled Twitter users confirmed they received a 12-hour suspension for using memphis. Soon, people on the social media site were trying it out simply to see if the bug would affect them as well. Before the admins fixed whatever had gone wrong, it did affect anyone who typed the simple phrase.
The mystery as to why the accounts were being suspended deepened when users looked at the notice about the rationale. The notices claimed they were violating the rules about posting private information. Generally, that particular suspension is only handed out when someone is doing so to another user. While several of the people who reported getting the temporary bans were talking about a certain soccer player, it doesn’t appear any of them were posting the private information of Memphis Depay. As the bans continued, several people took to simply posting photos or Depay and joking asked if it was ok to talk about him.
Being a rather large social media site, bugs and glitches are relatively common. Hacks and Twitter account takeovers also tend to pop up every now and then. However, the kind of mass account bannings and notices isn’t something that appears to have happened all that often. The issue appears to have been resolved, but for now, Twitter isn’t shedding any light as to what exactly happened. The lack of information as to why this happened in the first place also means the site has given no guarantees it won’t happen again.