• Great article! What a headache these squatted accounts are and I’m blown away that Twitter hasn’t moved forward with this for years.


    • Jonathan: Thanks for the comment. Twitter’s inaction on this topic is ridiculous. There are so many great, inactive Twitter handles that are wasting away by not being used. I understand ‘the early bird gets the worm’ but we feel there should be a way to directly contact the owner and make an offer to buy the handle from them. We’ll see if there’s any action on this. We’ll be watching this one. Thanks again.

  • Please

    I need your opinion…I have pseudo-name that I’ve used in various writings for about 18 years now. TWO PROBLEMS, 1st: the writings were never published so nobody ever hear the name before (my fault, I know)…2nd: I recently decided to open a twitter account with that name only to find out a 14 year old kid beat me to it in 2011. He has not used it since May of 2011, and the only tweets he typed were to some girl he knows in school…maybe like 10 tweets. THAT’S IT. I googled the username, and to my luck, he is the only person out of millions of websites to have that name. I’m really frustrated, because I came up with this name 18 years ago, but because of the lack of internet back then, I have no way to prove I created this pseudo name. Will twitter give me that @handle or am I out of luck? Pissed off man, because some kid has this name and I came up with before he was even born! Not to mention he used it for some dumb ass girl that he hasn’t tweeted to in over two years!

    • Ah yes, the 14-year-old sneak attack. The sad part is, the kid wins in this deal (for now). As Jonathan alluded to below, Twitter has taken no action on these inactive names and it’s been several years. And there’s no sign they are moving on it. We’ve emailed the company several times and received no response. So your only option now is to try and tweet to the kid and make a deal or try to figure out who he is and track him down online and reach out to him and make him an offer. That, or find a new name for your writing. It sucks, we know. But take a look at what Yahoo is doing – they’re actually re-purposing inactive accounts like Twitter SHOULD be doing. And this paragraph was telling (thanks to Adriana Lee of ReadWrite):

      This is a great idea, and I wish others would follow suit. Take Twitter for example. The reason my account is @Adra_La is because someone else snagged @AdrianaLee — someone with five followers who has tweeted all of two times back in 2009. And no amount of begging in emails to the company can seem to kick that username back into the pool. Citing security issues, Google and YouTube don’t put inactive profile names back into circulation either. Microsoft said it may delete data for accounts that have been inactive for 270+ days, but didn’t confirm one way or the other about whether it repurposes usernames

      So you can see, nothing has transpired yet. You think you’re frustrated, the kid who has the Twitter handle @JoshBenson hasn’t even tweeted! And it was registered back in 2009. So I’ve been stuck with @JPBenson since. I tried the method above, but sadly, Twitter claimed it wasn’t a case of impersonation despite persistence.

      Good luck. Keep us posted on your efforts and thanks for the comment.

      • eman

        hi i tried more than once to take an inactive username acc but i failed..
        do u think you may do that for people cause maybe i did somthing wrong i guess?
        like could i give u the user name and you’d do these steps?

  • Cameron

    I need your help. I tried the way you did it. I own a website too and have an email connected to it that I used. I have the legal alias as my name, and the common nickname as the @handle I’m trying to get. I don’t know what to put in the wrapping up part to explain how they’re imperaonating me through having their @handle the same as my website’s domain. Any help would be great. Thanks.

    • Hi Cameron. Thanks for the comment. If you see from my update above, I was also denied. Twitter has made it extremely difficult to use this process to get your unused Twitter handle. You have to truly prove that someone is impersonating you. As you can see from our comment below, Yahoo is making moves to make inactive account names available. I think it’s only a matter of time before Twitter gets with it. So sadly, all we can do is wait. As for your case, with their account showing 0 tweets, it’s pretty difficult to prove there is any impersonation. Good luck. Keep us posted on your efforts.

      • Cameron

        Ok, thanks for the advice. I’m going to keep submitting it until they appove and give me the @handle, because I’m going to use it as a professional twitter account. I’ll comment back if/when I get the @handle.

        • Absolutely, keep us posted! Good luck. We’d love to see you get it.

  • Cameron

    Also, the account has 0 tweets, 0 followers, and 0 following. So I need to find out how to prove they are impersonating me. Thanks.

  • conner

    Hi. I’ve just tried this but now they’re asking for government proof of I am who I am, Such as a passport. Thing is i dont even have one anymore! Or a driving licence! I’m from the UK and tried to get @conner. I own a domain too, but it’s not got a website with it. What can i do?

  • Awesome.

  • MikeD

    Josh, how long was it before Twitter denied your request?

    I submitted a ticket 4 days ago, and haven’t gotten any emails from them other than the automatic email confirming the ticket went through. I have the domain and the squatter used our brand name and images (logo, background) without permission.

    What do you think about this?

    • Hey MikeD: Thanks for the comment. It didn’t take too long, but I remember it was several days. Sounds like you have a legit case for nabbing this squatter as he/she is using trademarked material. I’d give it a day or two more and then try to escalate the matter. I’m sure they get bombarded with these requests, but it still blows me away there’s not a better system in place to manage it. Please keep us posted on your progress and good luck.

    • Guest

      It took a week or two I believe for them to get back to me. I haven’t checked with them lately on if they’ve changed there policy yet.

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  • Nick

    What if a account has been inactive for years?

    • Generally doesn’t matter. If you have a good case for impersonation, they may grant the account to you. But if it’s been unused, it will just sit there…unused for years. ):

  • Dammacx

    It is crazy that this has had no movement as far as twitter is concerned. For me my full company name is too long to use as a twitter name and the next obovious choice is used by a company in another country with a similar name and they use it. But I would be happy if I could get the actual abreviation I want which is currently a unused since 2007 with only two post account or if twiiter would just allow slightly larger names so I could use my companies full legal name.

    • Bryn

      Glad to see somebody else is still keeping at it. I’ve been trying every now and then, but never any luck, and I own the exact .co.uk domain :(

  • ria

    im giving this a shot! wish me luck!!

  • A

    What is they have a lot of tweets but haven’t tweeted since 2013 or something like that?? Please help!

  • ccccc

    I followed this guide and got some automated message to scan in my driver’s livense or something. I’m not sure I’m confortable doing that

  • Charlie Lawrence

    Hey My Name Is Charlie And I Think For Like 2 Years I Have Tried To Get @CharlieLawrence It’s Annoying Cause I Have For Long Time Tried Everything To Get This Name I Have Made Many Accounts To Get This Handle But Twitter Always Replies With We Can’t Do Anything Or You Need More Proof And I Own The Domain For CharlieLawrence And Like Most Of The Accounts I Hear On This Site There Inactive And Never Tweet And I Think That Twitter Should Fix This Issue Because It’s Going To Make People Not Want To Use There Site And I Want To Also Say I Wouldn’t Be So Mad If Someone Actually Used The Account But When You Find That It Was Only Created So They Could Have The Name I Think Thats Not Right I An Not Gonna Give Up This Is A Issue That Needs To Be Done

    • A person

      Please Do Not Talk Like This Please. It’s very annoying.

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