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Challenge Accepted: Twitter lockout

Lucy Watson discovers what it takes to get locked out of Twitter.

Lucy Watson discovers what it takes to get locked out of Twitter.
Lucy Watson discovers what it takes to get locked out of Twitter.

It’s Saturday night. A few friends and I are enjoying an average evening playing gangster Scrabble and watching bad 90s pop videos on YouTube. In between Mandy Moore’s “Candy” and a friend playing the word “srzli” (the definition of gangster is interpreted very loosely here) the conversation turns to Twitter. Another friend says, “I follow this really annoying girl, and she keeps posting about how she gets locked out of Twitter for posting too much. And then she posts so many complaints about it that she gets locked out again. It’s kind of a vicious cycle.”

“What do you have to do to get locked out?” I ask.

“Oh, post like 100 tweets in an hour or something.”


I hurriedly play my last letters and grab my phone. The time? 10:37pm.

It begins.

I should pause here to extend an apology to all my [few] Twitter followers. My tweets were neither intelligent, nor inspired. They weren’t even terribly interesting. My third tweet? “Wearing insect wings #sexy”. My fourth? “Trolololololol #poo”. My seventh summed up the first six nicely: “I don’t have many structured thoughts at the moment.”

After spending the first 14 minutes of the challenge live tweeting my fairly mediocre evening (“Ran into Ellie in the doorway #lol #doorway #Ellie”), my 39th tweet was inspired: “Wings are caught on the door #damn”. This prompted my 40th, “I’m free! #KONY2012”, and so began the rather ridiculous idea of adding #KONY2012 to the rest of my tweets. Naturally, none of them had anything to do with #KONY2012: “There’s an upside down esky here #KONY2012”, “#KONEYISLAND #KONY2012”, “Just realised I misspelt Timberlake #KONY2012”.

At tweet 71, 26 minutes in, I lamented “I wanted to do it in twenty five minutes #KONY2012”. Tweet 74, “That took too long to type” was quickly followed by “Oops forgot to #KONY2012 to the last tweet #KONY2012 that’s better #KONY2012”.

It’s safe to say that by now, almost everyone hated me, myself included. But I could only get worse, and so decided to mention strangers in my nonsensical tweets. Tweet 108 at minute 37 (WHY HAVEN’T I BEEN LOCKED OUT YET?) read: “@BiggBooty_TRUDY there’s a snake in ma boot! #KONY2012”. Tweet 113: “@BeholdDeeenster retweet good sir! #KONY2012”.

Mentioning strangers soon became too time consuming. My posting speed had slowed from roughly three per minute to closer to two and a half. So I stopped, and instead continued to live tweet my evening. Tweet 119: “Locked out #KONY2012”. Tweet 120: “Whoa wrong room #KONY2012”.

At 11:20, 43 minutes after I began, I tweeted “Just pumping my guns #KONY2012”. Tweet 127 followed closely behind. “Nomming a cashew #KONY2012”.

It wouldn’t post.

An error message, saying something along the lines of “Error: Your tweet could not be posted right now. It has been saved in your drafts” appeared. I tried again. Same message. I tried a new tweet, “IT’S TIME TO DANCE TO KELIS! #KONY2012”. Same message.

SUCCESS! I had been locked out. It took 126 inspired tweets in 43 minutes, averaging almost three tweets a minute.

I was only barred for a measly two hours, after which I finally got to tell the world I had been “Nomming a cashew #KONY2012”. Sorry, Twitter. #KONY2012