In the past 36 hours or so, I've been locked out and reinstated three times. My password has been requested every few minutes while using the iOS app, and I've seen my "following" count go to zero each time, later reflecting the proper number of accounts I follow (around 3,600). Tweets to both @Twitter and @TwitterSupport have gone unanswered, and a search of "twitter locked" reveals users around the Globe having issue. A check of twitter followers using the Crowdfire App shows a mass unfollowing, but each user clicked shows that they, too are also locked out for "unusual activity," resulting in a perceived "unfollow."
So what is going on?
Thus far, no one seems to be reporting on this issue, and Twitter themselves have maintained radio silence. Where much conversation has moved is onto Facebook, with many speaking out against the lockout through their pages, private groups and messenger threads.
Some finger-pointing has begun toward third-party apps like Roundteam, dlvrit, Hootsuite and Buffer. These apps are often used by members of the media, bloggers and outlets large and small to automate tweets and to share news and headlines. This is permitted according to the Twitter rules, and they even have an "Automation Best Practices" page.
Right now there's no word on whether this is a massive glitch in the system, some kind of automated clean-up that's gone off the rails, or if there's been a change to the rules that users and app developers weren't aware of.
I've reached out to Twitter and am still awaiting response. This article will be updated as news comes in. Stay tuned...