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.
I am having the very problems that you described. I have not been able to access Twitter for a week now. I keep getting the "over capacity" whale, yet I can tweet from my shop or from other websites without a problem. For some reason, I can not get onto Twitter. I have tried using different computers, networks, and ISPs. Nothing seems to work. I was able to change my password as you recommended, but I still could not access Twitter. Again, all I got was the big whale. If I have been suspended I have received no notification.
So…if I delete the plugin or whatever third-party service I'm using, will my account be good to go?
I do not believe it will. I think you will have to try the password change and then possibly put in a support ticket to find out what is going on.
I would try the password change and then logout, clear cookies, and try again.
Thanks for this article. I found this happening with one of my accounts.
I cannot see my profile page and when I try to submit a ticket it says there is an error with the site — even though I received an email verification of the submission.
Also – I can use third-party sites and login via oauth (I logged into twittercounter.com as well as added my account to Hootsuite and even posted a tweet) – surely they would not let you do this if your account was suspended?
Thanks for the article!
I think that your right that this appears to be more and more like a bug.
Thank you for this!
I've been trying to log into Twitter for hours and kept getting the whale. But I changed my password as you suggested and now everything seems to be fine again. Very strange…