This morning I woke up to find that the application I wrote to share local news in English and Japanese has been “muzzled”.
The application monitors API rate limits every time it runs. It suspends itself if it uses more than 20% of any of the rate limits set by Twitter.
It monitors how frequently it posts information, aiming to tweet no more frequently than four times an hour.
At the time it was suspended, the application had not exceeded any of the rate limits set by Twitter. This is the second time the application has been suspended despite not exceeding any of the rate limits. Last time the application was reviewed and the suspension was lifted, but when I then wrote to Twitter Support asking for more information about the problem so I could prevent it from happening again, there was no response. Nonetheless, I did reduce the frequency with which the application posts, and introduced some other functions to ensure no limits were exceeded.
This morning I filled in the form with a bunch of details about the rate limit information the app had received via the API immediately prior to its suspension as well as a detailed description of how the application functions, and all the identifying details and application keys the form requested. I received an automated response asking me to send the same information again - which I didn’t have time to do…I am now late for work because I am a private individual trying to correspond with Twitter to get this block lifted on an application I and others rely on for news and information related to travel, earthquakes, typhoons and flooding, all of which frequently affect everyone here in Japan and the English speaking community that this application serves in particular (who often have limited access to the majority of the information which is posted in Japanese, making it difficult to track down reliable details even if images etc. could be understood, just due to having to work through a high volume of information in a very different language).
Below is a screenshot of the last tweets posted by the application to the account on Twitter before the block was applied. Please look at the posts - typhoon information, earthquake information, information from official international news channels about US military activity related to a security situation that directly affects all of us (Tokyo is highly likely to be a target if North Korea responds to what it perceives as provocation on the Korean peninsular). There are about four posts in as many hours.
Knowing the harassment and abuse that is commonplace, persistent and largely ignored on Twitter, it is incredibly frustrating to see an application I have invested a great deal of time in, with the purpose of benefiting the community by sharing what is potentially life saving information automatically so that it continues to be available in the event of a natural disaster (there are good reasons this app is automated), blocked without what even seems to be any human review by Twitter.
I would like to know how this application is “degrading the community experience”.