Twitter users flag bug where accounts are banned if they tweet ‘Memphis’

Tweeting the word resulted in some users being automatically banned from the site

Danielle Zoellner
New York
Sunday 14 March 2021 19:55
<p>Twitter users have reported being banned from the social media site after tweeting the word ‘Memphis’</p>

Twitter users have reported being banned from the social media site after tweeting the word ‘Memphis’

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Twitter users have reported the social media site temporarily banning them for tweeting the word "Memphis".

Tweeting the word appeared to result in dozens of accounts being automatically suspended. Several users shared online screenshots of them being banned, stating the word that caused problems was "Memphis".

The situation has since been resolved with no explanation from Twitter about the bug. The Independent has contacted Twitter for a comment.

But it caught the attention of several people, including players at Olympique Lyonnais, the French football club.

"Hey, @Twitter - can we talk about him yet?" the US's club account page wrote while sharing a picture of Dutch midfielder Memphis Depay. The tweet alluded to people having trouble writing the name of the player in a tweet without getting blocked.

Some users suggested the problems were the result of Depay having trademarked his name so that nobody else could use it. But even if that were the case, and there is no indication that it is Twitter allows people to use trademarked words on its platform.

The Memphis Grizzlies, a NBA team, also looked to be testing the feature on Sunday.

"The gang from Memphis is about to play a basketball game," the team wrote, which did not result in the account being banned from Twitter.

"When bots flood our comments with 'say the m word,'" another tweet read with a video of one of the players blocking a shot.

Several users also changed their name to "Memphis" to prove a point.

It was not clear how this bug started or why, but social media users were now able to tweet out the name without problems of being banned or getting their post flagged.

It is possible that the word had been mistakenly flagged by Twitter’s automated systems, intended to spot problematic content. Users were told their post had violated the Twitter rules, in the same way they would if they used offensive or otherwise banned language.

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