Many progressive twitter users have fallen victim to a fundamentalist technique for silencing those people who disagree with them. They take advantage of the twitter algorithm that checks reported users for spamming activity. Twitter does not have the resources to physically check each account that is accused of spamming. What they do is run an algorithm that checks for things that are common to spambots. The most common ones being following/follower ratio and the number of tweets that are responses.
A lot of real live, legitimate twitter users follow far more people than follow them back. It’s particularly common for new users or people interested in a wide variety of topics that don’t really care whether they are followed back. You could avoid this by following people more slowly and only adding when more people have followed you, but why should you have to limit yourself?
The second item can be easily avoided. Twitter considers tweets to another person that begin with the user’s screen name to be a “response.” A tweet that has the user’ name anywhere within the tweet is a “mention.” Since spambots generally direct their spam toward individual users, most spam tweets start with a user name. This is easy to avoid. When responding to other users and holding conversations, always put something before the username of the person you are responding to. For example, when having a conversation:
Me: @coolguy I can’t believe those teabaggers are so stupid.
You: @AssassinGrl I know, what a bunch of losers.
Me: @coolguy You are sooooo right!
You: @AssassinGrl You are sooo smart and beautiful.
This conversation could easily be flagged by twitter’s algorithm as being spam if someone false flags us, especially if one of us follows significantly more people than follows us.
This can be avoided.
Me: You know @coolguy, I can’t believe those teabaggers are so stupid.
You: Yeah @AssassinGrl I know, what a bunch of losers.
Me: . @coolguy You are sooooo right!
You: . @AssassinGrl You are sooo smart and beautiful.
Even putting a punctuation mark like a period (.) or slash (/) before the user name will protect you from being mistakenly caught by twitter’s anti-spam algorithm.
If you are unlucky enough to get suspended, contact twitter help at support.twitter.com and explain that you were falsely flagged. There is a form to fill out. This will start the process to have a real person review your account. In the meantime it might be a good idea to keep a backup account with a similar name so that you can let followers know when you’ve been falsely suspended. Be patient. It sometimes takes a while when they have to have a person follow up.