How would you deal with losing your Twitter account?
If the answer is a lot of cursing, well, imagine if you were @ZODIAC_MF, a cult-classic Twitter account with a small but loyal following, for whom swearing is all in a day’s tweets.
Twenty-five days after @ZODIAC_MF—we’ll call him Zodiac for short—had his account phished and turned into a bad promotional site, Twitter’s support team has finally returned his access. But beware: There’s little he could have done to prevent the attack, and it can happen to you.
@ZODIAC_MF, who has amassed over 5,000 followers (and is a Daily Dot favorite), is known for his uninhibited all-caps style, as well as a fondness for fast food and brutal movies. Recent tweets include “IF I WAS A COP ID FUCK WITH PRIUSES ALL DAY LONG,” “SBARRO. MORE LIKE SBULLSHIT” and “REVENGE IS AWESOME. THATS WHY THEY MAKE SO MANY MOVIES ABOUT IT BECAUSE IT FUCKING OWNS.”
His account trouble started on November 14.
“I POSTED A SWEET PIC OF MY NEW BILL LAIMBEER JERSEY BUT FOR SOME REASON MY NAME SAID TMIFILM AND I WAS LIKE WHOA WHAT THE FUCK.” he told the Daily Dot via email. (He stayed true to his Twitter form throughout our conversation, and didn’t offer his real name.)
His avatar had changed to a poster for the upcoming movie The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. The film, slated for a 2012 release, is produced by Screen Gems, a Sony Pictures studio, which did not return an email inquiry.
Zodiac found his password didn’t work, and his username had changed to @TMIFilm.
Twitter has very simple instructions to follow if your account has been compromised. First, request a password change. If your email address is safe and still associated with your account, only you will have access to a new password. But Zodiac was too late.
“SO I GO TO LOG ON ON MY COMPUTER AND IT SAYS ZODIAC MF DOESNT EXIST ANYMORE AND THAT THERE ARE NO ACCOUNTS ASSOCIATED WITH MY EMAIL ACCOUNT,” he said.
Unable to change his password via email, he moved to Twitter’s second and last step: filling out a Twitter support ticket. He received a generic form letter in return.
“Hello! Twitter is a free service and we receive quite a bit of mail, so we may not get to yours right away,” it began.
“OBVIOUSLY THIS IS SOME AUTOMATED BULLSHIT THATS OF NO USE WHATSOEVER,” @ZODIAC_MF said.
For a few days, the person behind @TMIfilm neglected to delete Zodiac’s phone number from the account, so he was still able to post to the account via text message.
“SO I STARTED POSTING ALL KINDS OF CRAZY SHIT ON THE ACCOUNT ABOUT FUCK YOU AND FUCK THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS WACK FUCKING SHIT AND THE DIRECTOR FUCKS AROUND WITH LITTLE KIDS,” he said.
“THAT WENT ON FOR A FEW DAYS UNTIL THE ACCOUNT STOPPED WORKING ON MY PHONE.”
He then responded to the email from support.
“[I] WAS LIKE HEY MY ACCOUNT’S STILL FUCKED UP.”
This time, he received a different form letter. The most frustrating sentence was this: “Unfortunately, if you don’t have access to this account’s associated email address or mobile device, we are unable to continue troubleshooting.”
“I WENT THROUGH THIS BULLSHIT THREE OR FOUR TIMES AND EVERY TIME IT WAS SOME AUTOMATED SHIT TELLING ME SORRY YOUR ACCOUNT WAS HACKED BUT IF YOU CANT LOG INTO YOUR HACKED ACCOUNT THERES NOTHING WE CAN DO FOR YOU,” he said.
“AND I WAS LIKE THIS IS THE STUPIDEST FUCKING SHIT EVER. I NEVER GOT ANYTHING THAT WASNT SOME BOILERPLATE BULLSHIT. I NEVER GOT IN CONTACT WITH A REAL PERSON AND I NEVER GOT ANY KIND OF PERSONAL RESPONSE SO BASICALLY FUCK TWITTER.”
In the meantime, he tried to move on. He started a new account, but only a fraction of his followers knew about it. About a week later, @TMIFilm abruptly changed its name to @iPhone5_Apple5, with a correspondingly Apple-themed background. As far as the Daily Dot knows, that account never tweeted.
Two days ago, Zodiac told the Daily Dot he was about to give up hope he’d get his account back.
“I’M HOLDING OUT HOPE LIKE A DUMBASS THAT THEY’RE GONNA FIX THE OLD ONE BUT I’M ABOUT TO SAY FUCK IT AND THROW IN THE TOWEL,” he said.
But suddenly on Friday evening, he wrote back: “HOLY SHIT THEY GOT IT FIXED FOR ME.”
His first tweet was simply “I LIVE.”
He followed up quickly with a flourish, making up for lost time.
“GOT JACKED BY SOME RUSSIAN FUCK. LOGGED BACK INTO MY ACCOUNT AND EVERYTHING WAS IN VAMPIRE,” he tweeted.
A few minutes later: “I EVER SEE THAT SOVIET SHITEATER I’M GONNA GO WOLVERINES ON HIS FUCKING ASS.”
An hour after that: “MAN I WISH I COULD REMEMBER ALL THE DUMB SHIT THAT’S HAPPENED TO ME IN THE LAST MONTH.”
He quickly came up with one example: “OH YEAH SOME COLLECTIONS COMPANY CALLED ME ABOUT SOME PARKING TICKET I NEVER PAID. I WAS LIKE NO HABLO ENGLISH MOTHERFUCKER.”
@ZODIAC_MF is back.