How to Tell If Someone Deactivated their Twitter


Twitter can be full of interesting opinions, and those opinions – yours included – can really stir a tornado of drama that ultimately has someone deactivating their Twitter. Social media has always had that kind of effect on people. You wonder how people can have a particular attitude or opinion and because of it, people often deactivate their Twitter just to get away from it.

You might be wondering where those people went. After all, it can seem like they blocked you. Are there signs that prove otherwise? How do you tell if someone deactivated their Twitter account as opposed to blocking? Believe it or not, you can tell the difference.

By exploring the fine details, you’ll understand, too.

Deactivation: the First Step to Deleting Your Twitter Account

Deactivating your account and deleting your account are two different sides of the same coin. In order to delete your Twitter account, you have to first deactivate it. Think of it as temporarily silencing your account, if only for a few days.

This process will last for 30 days. For 30 whole days, your account can remain in limbo. But if you keep it there past those 30 days, your account is gone for good. Poof. No more Twitter. Everything from your tweets to Twitter feed are completely scrubbed clean. Your account, for all intents and purposes, has been deleted.

In the grand scheme of things, why does that matter? Well, it’s one of the first signs that someone deactivated their Twitter account. If someone deactivated their Twitter account, and you visit their profile, you won’t see anything. You won’t see any tweets, no Twitter feed, nothing. It’s as if they don’t exist anymore.

Blocked VS Deactivation

Of course, this can be confusing at first. When you visit a Twitter feed that has nothing, not even their profile exists, people assume the worst: they were blocked. And that can be a disheartening experience.

Imagine a buddy of yours all of a sudden dropping you from Twitter. You start to wonder if you said or did something to offend. You start questioning your actions and your motives until you’ve lost who you are. Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but the point still stands: it sucks and you don’t know what’s going on.

Thankfully, there’s a very clear difference between being blocked and a deactivated account. When you visit a blocked account, even if you use the URL for a direct connection, you’ll see the message “You are blocked from following @[name] and viewing @[name]’s Tweets.

When you visit the page of a deactivated user, you don’t see anything, not even a message. Again, it’s as if they disappeared.

On top of that, if you try to directly message a user you’ve been blocked by, you’ll still get the same message, “You are blocked from following @[name] and viewing @[name]’s Tweets.” You can’t message a user that’s deactivated their Twitter account.

Followers and Following

Another sign that someone has deactivated their Twitter account is by viewing your Followers and Following page. However, it can also be a sign that someone blocked you.

When a user removes themselves from Twitter – deactivation or block – your Followers and Following will go down. After all, they are no longer a part of Twitter’s wilderness.

Avoiding Third-Party Traps

Twitter doesn’t keep an account deactivated indefinitely. After 30 days, the account is gone for good. If you forget to reactivate before your time limit is up, well, that’s not Twitter’s problem. They can’t retrieve it after that. Unfortunately, this has led malicious individuals to take advantage of frustrated people.

Through need, frustration and desperation, APIs are “developed” to “retrieve” your account. Websites and software will claim they can retrieve your account or retrieve Tweets that you lost due to your account being deleted.

So, let’s be clear on this: it does NOT work that way.

Twitter has a very strict attitude towards third-party APIs. Automation of any kind could have you out the door if it violates Twitter’s rules. While it’s largely on you if you authorize a bad service and become a victim of it, you can be double-tapped by Twitter suspending or restricting you.

Bottom Line

A Twitter user seemingly disappearing can have you scratching your head. Where did they go? Use the, admittedly, limited clues to discover their whereabouts. Twitter makes it clear with an on-screen message if you’ve been blocked. Otherwise, they are suspended or they deactivated their account.

Brady Klinger-Meyers is an experienced tech writer and marketer who currently writes for Techzillo as well as other popular sites like MakeUseOf. At Techzillo, he focuses on consumer technology in general with his interest being Android OS. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


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