June 19, 2021
underage Twitter users

Twitter Locking Out Users who Created Profiles when Underage

Underage Twitter users, or rather, those who were when they created accounts, are now being locked out of the social microblog…

Twitter has begun locking out users who created their profiles when they technically weren’t old enough to join. And, it doesn’t matter their present age. How? Simply by setting a trigger. If a user created an account under the age of 13, and now attempts to update their profile to reflect their current age, the platform will shut them out.

Underage Twitter Users Lockout now Underway

The crux of the matter comes down to the site complying with the new GDPR privacy laws. When those went into effect, changes were also made by the microblog. Twitter state it is aware of the problem but didn’t anticipate any disruptions:

“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. We didn’t expect this.”

One such example is Tom Maxwell. Like many others, he created a Twitter profile at the age of 12. Now 22 years old, he recently decided to update his profile. Upon setting his actual date of birth, the site immediately locked him out:

“Like many of my friends, I was a relatively early adopter of Twitter, signing up in 2008 when I was just 12-years old. Technically speaking this is a violation of the U.S. Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), but that law is so weakly enforced that most people don’t even think about it. Unfortunately, however, my age became a problem for me last night, despite the fact that today I’m 22, not 12. I updated my date of birth on Twitter to reflect my correct age and my account was promptly ‘locked.'”

Twitter underage account lock
Credit: Twitter / Tom Maxwell

Others have taken to Reddit to report the same experience. But, very few are finding any luck getting back onto Twitter. The company says that it’s working on a solution but has not taken any action at this time.