Twitter, why u so US centric?

For my new company Brightfuture [NAME PENDING], I tried to register a Twitter account. Much to my surprise, @brightfuture didn’t seem actively used.

No avatar, two tweets (one from 2007, one from 2009. No activity for 5 years, and no real use before that either.


screenshot of @brightfuture


So I figured that yes, obviously this account is basically available. Oh, how naive I was.

Twitter does have an inactive username policy. It states:

To keep your account active, be sure to log in and Tweet (i.e., post an update) within 6 months of your last update. Accounts may be permanently removed due to prolonged inactivity.

Find an inactive – or otherwise trademark violating – account? The Trademark policy to the resuce:

Using a company or business name, logo, or other trademark-protected materials in a manner that may mislead or confuse others with regard to its brand or business affiliation may be considered a trademark policy violation.


When we determine that an account appears to be confusing users, but is not purposefully passing itself off as the trademarked good or service, we give the account holder an opportunity to clear up any potential confusion. We may also release a username for the trademark holder’s active use.

Alright, fair enough. The account is clearly inactive, I own a business with the disputed name and can prove it, too. Easy enough!

Wrong again.

To reclaim an account, a US trademark is needed:

A federal or international trademark registration number is required. If the name you are reporting is not a registered mark (e.g., a government agency or non-profit organization), please let us know (…)

So, back to square one. In this case, the Inactive account policy, which states:

What if I have a request for a username from an account that looks inactive, but I don’t have a registered trademark? We are currently working to release all inactive usernames in bulk, but we do not have a set time frame for when this will take place.


It’s the equivalent of Twitter shrugging off the problem, or Screw You, Rest Of The World.

I’m not going to lie: I couldn’t imagine living and working without Twitter today. But I can’t say that this kind of policy fosters my bond to the service.


For now, for quick updates on Brightfuture[NAME PENDING] please follow @brightfutureio my personal Twitter account (@peterbihr) or this blog.

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