An update made to Twitter’s terms of service months ago is yet locking some users out of the platform for being underage even while some of them are in their mid-20s. Some users were even locked out because they never filled in their birthday until recently, one of such persons was Tom Maxwell, a 22-year old devotee to Twitter who found that he was suspended. In his words, “For a couple of years, I couldn’t actually update my birth year on Twitter. If I tried to select my correct year, 1996, it just would be grayed out. On Wednesday, I checked again and noticed I could select 1996, but as soon as I saved the change, my account locked.” According to our sources, Maxwell has repeatedly made an appeal, but he is still locked out.
Other people who have made appeals by providing parental consent or submitting documentations like birth certificates or passports are still locked out. Yet, there are some who were able to pass through. A tactic most of them employ is spamming the support line of Twitter with documents as long as they are of age.
However, these bans are part of Twitter’s move to comply with EUs General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which went into effect this may. GDPR gives instructions on how companies like Google, Amazon, and Twitter should handle data regardless of the base location of the company. According to GDPR, creating a user “contract” with anyone under the age of 13 is invalid without the permission of the parents and also every content created by an underage tweeter must be deleted or Twitter will have to pay huge fines.
Twitter’s Support Team in a public statement last month said, “We recently made product changes tied to new privacy laws (GDPR) and became aware of accounts that were set up by people when they were younger than 13. These accounts were automatically locked, and we created additional confusion by sending messages to people saying that they’re still under 13 (when many are now older) and need to close their accounts.”