It could happen out of the blue, without any warning. It could happen without you knowing what you did wrong. It could happen today.
Twitter could just suspend you.
Gone. Your Tweets, your followers, your thoughts, your jokes, your conversations. They’re just gone.
Gone, not because you did something wrong, like not abiding by the Twitter rules. No. Gone, because a flawed algorithm or an overwhelmed moderator decided that something justified a suspension. Maybe you wrote something that could be misinterpreted when taken out of context. Or, an army of trolls or bots with bad intentions reported you. You probably wouldn’t know because Twitter just wouldn’t tell you. They would just erase your content.
Gone. Years of careful consideration, of sharing your knowledge, of building connections, of building a reputation.
My friend Manuel Matuzović just got his account suspended by Twitter. He does not know why – Twitter did not yet give a reason for banning him.
Thankfully, Manuel still has a platform that he owns. A platform that nobody can simply suspend or delete. His own personal website.
I’ve written before about the many good reasons why a personal website is your ultimate home on the Web. Twitter randomly banning users by accident is just another example of the many ways you can lose your content if you don’t own it.
So if you are on Twitter, download a copy of your data from time to time. In fact, it could be a good idea to do it this week before the Elon Musk deal might close. You could also connect your Twitter account to your website and archive your Tweets to take ownership of them. Or, you can do it like Jeremy Keith and many others on the IndieWeb and write Tweets and even replies via your website and post them to Twitter from there.
But most importantly, always write your most important thoughts on your own site. You can share the link on as many platforms as you like and have conversations with anyone who wants to connect with you and your work. But nobody can take it from you. You are in control. Forever.