The 10 Best Parts of Being Hacked on Twitter, When Twitter Won’t Do Anything to HelpPhoto by Bethany Clarke/Getty Politics Features Twitter
UPDATE: Shortly after this article came out, Twitter re-associated the account with the correct email, and I was able to restore ownership of the account, at least for now. The account was in the hacker’s hands for just over three days.
Hey everybody! I was hacked on Twitter. This is my account, which I controlled until Thursday night around 9:45 pm. At that point, I received an email from Twitter that somebody in Switzerland had attempted to log in. If this seemed suspicious, they said, I should probably change my password.
It did seem suspicious! Unfortunately, I wasn’t on my email at that time, and less than 20 minutes later, the password and email address associated with my account had been changed, effectively locking me out. I have no idea why this happened—I write a lot of political stuff, and it may have been retaliation for something negative I wrote about Trump, but I have no evidence of that. All I have is speculation.
I also have no idea how it happened. I didn’t get Podesta’d—there was no phishing email in which I stupidly gave away my password, and I didn’t download any weird software that I’m aware of. I have no clue how the hacker successfully got into my account. All I know is that it’s been three days, and I still have no access. The only “clue,” if it’s a clue at all, is that the visible profile information now directs visitors to this account.
It’s a fucking nightmare. And now that you know the backstory, here are the 10 best parts of being hacked. And by “best,” I mean “most psychologically debilitating.”
1. When you try to navigate Twitter support, finally find the section titled “My account has been hacked,” and discovering that their main piece of advice is to request a password reset, which you can’t do because that requires still having the control over the account via an email address, which is kinda tough…when you’ve been hacked.
2. When you finally navigate the alternate options and submit a report detailing your problem, you get this reassuring message:
Oh, cool! Somebody has access to my account, but Twitter will probably get to it within a week or so, unless it takes longer, which it might. Great system. Perhaps the hacker will also wait several days to tweet white nationalist propaganda from my name, in which case everything is just perfect!
3. When you realize Twitter will be of absolutely no help, and you anxiously await to see whether the hacker will start tweeting horrible shit from your account, or possibly do something worse. In this period of anxiety, you will also wonder if they’ve hacked any other part of your Internet life, and whether you’re about to be blackmailed, even though you’re pretty sure there’s nothing too offensive anywhere. You hope. (You will also hope they don’t just delete your account, which would suck.)
4. When you have to email everyone you know in a professional capacity to tell them that your Twitter has been hacked, just in case the hacker starts tweeting out racial slurs, or something.
5. When, in your desperation to talk to an actual human being, you find a phone number for Twitter, only to discover after you press 1 for customer support that, “unfortunately, Twitter does not provide user support over the telephone. To find information and answers to your questions, please visit support.Twitter.com. If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for, our help center contains information about contacting our team via email.”
6. When you brainstorm ways to alert Twitter to your problem, and ask some friends to sound off on your behalf, and the only person who responds is your (alleged?) hacker, who retweets all these messages because to him (or her), this shit is hilarious. It’s extra cool when the hacker also tweets out a Mighty Morphins Power Rangers taunt at you, as if you haven’t been owned enough already:
— Cult (@2mw) July 7, 2017
7. When you appeal to Facebook for anyone who knows anyone who has any connection to somebody who works at Twitter, and then you actually find someone, and he says this:
8. When Twitter finally reaches out via email robot, and says they’ve restored your account to its original email, and you feel a momentary sense of relief before you attempt to reset your password and Twitter tells you that your email cannot be found. Then you try a different email, which also cannot be found. Finally, you try a phone number, and Twitter tells you that:
9. When you decide that hey, maybe you should use the platform available to you to write an article about the whole thing, and that maybe this will spur some action, or at least help somebody else after the hacker releases all those dick pics you sent to your followers (note: I did not send dick pics to my followers), and you reach out to Twitter’s press office asking for a comment. You’ll never guess how this turned out…
Unless you guessed “no response.” In that case, you nailed it.
10. When your (alleged?) hacker, after three days, sends a message to your secondary account:
Not ominous at all! And you know what? You will message the hacker! You will do it, because apparently this is the wild west, and only by bargaining with the person who has power over you will anything be accomplished. (Note: As of this writing, I have heard nothing back.)
Anyway, as you see, getting hacked on Twitter rules, and I highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a fun adventure full of stress and absolutely no resolution, in which you constantly feel like your entire life might be about to be ruined because of the Internet. Thanks for reading!
(On a serious note, everyone please do two-factor authentication. Even though I didn’t do anything stupid to give away my password, it was really short-sighted not to protect my account this way, and I really, really regret it right now.)