Have you found yourself seeing the Fail Whale a lot more often once you have logged into Twitter? And by more often, I mean all the time, regardless of what time of day or day of the week it is?
Well if you listen to the mumbling of a growing group of Twitter users, then your account is probably banned, or ‘soft banned’, as you are still able to visit the account when you are logged out.
Or it is equally possible, that this is just a new bug that is effecting certain people, but lets take a look at what happens.
You visit Twitter.com and log into your account, only to be presented the Fail Whale explaining that ‘Twitter is over capacity’.
You click through to Home or you click on the Twitter logo, to visit the site, only to find the same over capacity message. You type in your profile URL to see if you can visit your profile, but you get the same over capacity message.
At this point you either figure that the site is down and you will come back later, or you are a few refreshes away from the same conclusion.
You come back later to try again with the same results.
You clear your cookies and history, forcing a log out, and visit Twitter.com, which is now up and working again. You visit your profile page which is also showing, so you decide to log in again, finding the over capacity message yet again.
You now start to wonder what is up with your account, as you know Twitter is working and your profile page just showed up fine when you visited it.
This is what some are calling Twitter’s new ‘silent ban’, mostly because the people who are reporting it right now are also indicating that they used some additional third-party service, even just some WordPress update plugins, to either update or help get followers.
Whether it is indeed a silent ban or just a bug is yet to be verified or confirmed, but either way, there is some work around that seem to be getting people back into their accounts.
The workarounds all seem to be based on getting into your accounts settings and changing the password, which is allowing some people to access the site again.
I found the easiest way to do this is make sure you are logged in and viewing the over capacity message, then visit https://twitter.com/settings/. You should be able to access all the settings sections and update your password. (Note that some people have changed their password and still not been able to access their account without seeing the over capacity message on every page.)
Some other people have mentioned using the Tweet button on a site which also asks you to follow them when finishes, like Search Engine Journal. When you follow the account, some people have been taken to their following page and had success in fixing their account that way.
If nothing seems to work, then you should submit a support ticket with Twitter to have the problem resolved.