The Twitter Ads Debacle

Please note: Margaret Gel is not my legal name. I’m a trans person, and, given the current climate in America, and especially what this article details, you’ll fully understand why I’m not putting in the legal name I’m doing business in, in this whole debacle below.


I don’t know how the fuck this happened in the first goddamned place, and now, it just keeps getting weirder.

Years and years back, I heard you could access a way to post longer videos on Twitter if you put in a credit card. I did; it didn’t work; I took the credit card out. This was so long ago that I did it while my Dad was still alive (died in 2017); and the credit card account from back then has long since been cancelled.

This was on my main Twitter account, @icze4r.

Well, cat’s out of the bag: I have another account, that I was planning on doing some fun things with. It’s called @solaar.

Sometime, May 31st, or June 1st, somewhere around there, I log onto the account (I don’t use it much), because I want to see if NFT shitters have stolen it yet. At least three people have been making moves to ‘claim’ it; so, I check in, every now and again, to make sure I still have it. (It was going to be used to promote my next book.)

Anyways: sometime in the middle of the night, I check the account. It has new followers! How nice.

This is weird.

I can’t figure out why; no NFT shitter or crypto cunt seems to have @’d me. So I go to sleep.

On June 2nd, 2022, around 4:30 P.M. or so, I check my e-mail.

I. See. This.

At first, I think about it. I think: probably a spam e-mail. Probably, this isn’t real. I don’t panic. I maintain my composure.

I check the credit card account they say it’s been taken out of.

it’s real.

I check the Twitter account. I surf to ads.

I OPEN UP ADS ON MOBILE AND I AM PANICKING. I HIT PAUSE SO FUCKIN’ FAST. Questions race through my mind. I know I’ve put my credit card in, on Twitter, somewhere, once. I know I did it for my main account. Did I do it for @solaar? I start to think. I can’t remember anything. Did I?

No. I remember trying to get access to Twitter Media Studio by going through Ads. They kept asking me, do you want to make an ad? Do you want to make an ad? I x’d all that stuff out. I checked it 4-5 times. I made certain, no, they’re not going to run an ad.

I remember thinking— if they try to run an ad, at least they can’t. Nothing to bill it to.

I remember this exact thought: if something like [what’s currently happening], starts happening, at least they have nothing to bill it to. If an ad starts running BY ITSELF, at least they have nothing to bill it to.

YEAH THAT WORKED OUT GREAT

At this point I’m thinking, did I make a mistake? No. I checked that 4-5 times, to make sure that nothing got run.

I call Capital One and I explain the situation. They’re asking me if it’s fraud. I honestly don’t fucking know. I’m sitting here, thinking— did I accidentally do this? If I did, I’d take the responsibility. If I fucked up. But, as far as I can tell, nope; I didn’t do this. I even told them (to my best recollection) that I remember putting the credit card in, but that was another one; not this one. (I think?). Whatever I said, Capital One has the recording.

So I dispute the charge. They say they’ll investigate it. I talked to Christine, at 16:32 on June 2nd, 2022. Central time, so 4:32 P.M. I nearly ran home because, and here’s the kicker,

@solaar is an account that’s protected by a physical security key. I didn’t have it on me, so, for about half an hour, I couldn’t figure out how to log onto my own account, to check what was going on. (I have it on the mobile Android app; but I couldn’t log onto anything on my phone that let me see the Desktop version of Twitter, which had extra features on Twitter that could let me see EVERYTHING going on in there)

Capital One says they’ve cancelled the card, and they’re sending me a new one. I take a deep breath. Did I fuck up and accidentally run an ad? To the best of my knowledge, no; I did not. If I did, how?

Then things start getting worse.

I look at @icze4r. I go to the ad panel.

My credit card is in there.

I DIDN’T PUT IT IN THAT ACCOUNT.

Okay. I remove it. As far as I know, I’ve removed it from every account on Twitter.

Okay.

I send in one Twitter report. I don’t have access to what I said, but it was basically, why the fuck is this ad running? said very politely.

I get a response:

Sailor_Moon But_You_Didn’t_Do_Anything.jpg

They even did me the courtesy of linking to the wrong form. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I send in two more reports.

The box did not let me type more than 250(?) characters.

So I said (June 2nd, 2022, at 6:09 P.M. Central Time):

This afternoon at 02 Jun 2022, 01:35 PM, I received an e-mail that read “Twitter Ads successfully processed your payment”. $100. Invoice [redacted]. I did not authorize this purchase. Box won’t let me type anymore than that

I get a response.

the next day. (June 3, 2022, 9:16 A.M.)

… is that… a broken image, I see?

Oh, we’re in great hands now.

I reply (June 3rd, 2022, 12:30 P.M.):

Yesterday I found out that a Twitter ad had been taken out for $100, I don’t know when but the ad says Oct 18, I don’t know what year. I have paused it because I did not authorize this. I found out about it because $100 was charged to a credit card. When I found out I called my card issuer (Capital One) and disputed the charge; they started an investigation, and have cancelled the card. I have absolutely no idea how this happened.

Note: this was before I thought to poke around in the desktop version of Twitter Ads enough to look at the campaign that was being run. It fucking terrified me and I didn’t want to accidentally ‘re-activate’ it (how the fuck did this happen ANYWAY?); but I braved it, and, the year was October 2020.

October 18th, 2020.

… the campaign was from October 18th, 2020.

… what?

Now that I’m writing this, I’m starting to ask this question: did I even fucking have that credit card at that date? Now I’m not even sure.

Sometime around there, I see this:

To me, this is a relief. They can’t charge me anymore. They might ban me; they might come after me for the money; but I know I didn’t take this fuckin’ ad out, so. Whatever. At least I’m protected.

I think.

Time passes. I start to wonder: did I fuck up and accidentally run an ad? No. I checked. I checked.

Today, I fixed my mother’s water softener; put in a new deadbolt; pulled out and disposed of an old satellite dish; and then, I look at my phone.

I see a text message.

I also got an e-mail, which you’ll now see:

The last four digits of the card are of one I have never seen before.

HUH??????????????

I call up Capital One immediately. I log on to my Capital One dashboard. The old account, ending in those old four numbers, has changed to this new one.

Who the fuck tried to buy a Twitter ad with my new credit card?

Keep in mind: I reported this Thursday, June 2nd. This happened Today, June 4th. Not only is that not enough time for the card to mail out, but; I NEVER FUCKING EVEN RECEIVED THE CARD.

HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN?

I called up Capital One and got forwarded to their Fraud Department. Now I’m fucking freaking out. How did somebody buy ads with the replacement card I never received?

WHAT ACCOUNT DID THEY USE TO BUY ADS? IS THIS THE SAME ONE???

IS IT A FUCKING -‘NOTHER- ONE?

At Capital One, I talked to Nichelle, June 4th, 2022. 6:58:08 P.M. (I was sitting at the computer. :3c)

Now, I’m wondering something.

How did this card get charged? My first thought was that the old, cancelled card was charged again by Twitter; but, they already sent me something saying they couldn’t do that.

So what the fuck is this, now?

And, so far, that’s where we’re at. Twitter Ad people don’t seem to work on Weekends; nor do I believe that they should. But, shit is going wrong, and, well! I don’t really fucking have any sort of recourse.

Nichelle’s best idea is someone is fucking stealing my mail.

WHAT????????????????

tHAT DOESN’T EVEN FUCKING BEGIN TO EXPLAIN HOW THE TWITTER AD GOT PURCHASED IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE


(not-final) Thoughts

I don’t know what the FRUIT is goin’ on, man.

This reminds me of the time, back in 2011, when Twitter said I was permabanned; then, a week later, they wrote me a letter of apology, and said that everything’s a-okay!

What the fuck is going on over there?

Are y’all okay?

Y’all aren’t okay.


June 6th, 2022 update

It is currently 10:12 P.M. I have just checked my e-mail. It is a Monday. I have received no further communication from Twitter.

Initially I was terrified that I’d get permabanned for even challenging this. Will I? I don’t fuckin’ know. Nobody’s running shit, over there.

I honestly kind of expect something tomorrow that’ll completely ruin my day, but, who knows? The reality of this is probably going to be that I’m just never going to hear about this again, from Twitter.

Twitter seems to be really poorly run!


June 7th, 2022 update

It’s over?

What?

The included image:

Yes.

Yes, indeed. I underst—

Wait a fucking minute, that’s not what the other screenshot I took said.

So what the Hell is going on, now? Is it over?

??????????

OH GOD HE DIDN’T EVEN INCLUDE THE DAY ITT STARTED

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, OVER AT TWITTER

HOLY SHIT anyway. He told me to secure my account, and, guess what?

it’s one of the accounts that I have secured with a physical security key

What the hell now?

Oh, I give up.