Recently, a few people approached me on Twitter, asking what the mysterious Twitter Jail is.

So yes, you have heard correctly, Twitter can actually put you into figurative jail and you have to take a break before you can take up your Tweeting habits again.

The best explanation I found was from the Urban Dictionary, putting it this way:

Twitter Jail Means No Tweeting If You’ve Reached The Limit Of 100 Tweets Per Hour Or 1000 per day.

This explains it most succinctly and I hope it helps you to stay out of this dangerous situation. The explanation from the site goes on to further explain:

You can access your page, you may not post publicly for a specific period of time. Anything from half an hour to a few hours.

So if you ever find yourself in Twitter Jail, don’t worry, it will only last a few hours before you can Tweet normally again.

The best way to avoid Twitter jail? Space out your tweets! Get started with a free scheduler from Buffer!

Why Is It Possible That You End Up In Twitter Jail?

When I first heard about the term I and most likely many others have asked themselves, how is it ever going to be possible to end up in Twitter Jail. No one can Tweet 100 messages in an hour or post 1000 Tweets per day.

Here are a few situation where it is usually very easy to end up being shut down by Twitter for a limited timespan:

  • There is a breaking news event, like recently an earthquake, Bin Laden’s death or the Emmy awards that triggers people to Tweet in a mad and furious manner.
  • Twitter Chats are another occasion, where it is very easy to Tweet more frequently than usual. In these 1 hour online events I even got close to the 100 Tweet limit myself once.
  • Offline conferences or events that you attend are naturally another source where it can happen very easily that you cross the Twitter API limit for your account.

In general the exact timeframe you have to spend in Twitter Jail isn’t quite clear actually, yet the half hour to a few hours seems to be an accurate measure so far.

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Why Has Twitter Introduced Twitter Jail?

Of course, the key reason that Twitter introduces this API limit is to firstly not put too much load on their servers. Additionally, it is a great way to fight spammers and eventually suspend them, as they are more prone to cross the limits.

What is your experience with Twitter Jail? Have you ever ended up there or are you naturally a good Twitter citizen?

P.S.: As a rather odd end note, I believe that Twitter Jail is actually a really funny word, that reminds me of Monopoly Jail more than anything else.

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Written by Leo Widrich

Co-founder and COO at Buffer. I enjoy working on company culture, customer development and marketing. For more personal posts, check out leostartsup.

  • That term jail is so funny and thankfully i haven’t touched but #toolschat is so addictive that i might end up sometime 😉 by the way thanks for informing me i was not aware of this. 

  • I am in and out of twitter prison constantly …rarely do I tweet directly but I RT like madwoman because in my opinion a RT is a compliment. Twitter Jail is excellent as a bot deterrent, limits spam and also reminds us that every now and then we need to take our brains off the internet and put them back in our head…if only to relax and reboot and check out the 3D graphics engine outside the house.

  • ashutosh nigam

    interesting post…….thanks for sharing

  • Leo, but #TwitterJail is fun as well, i visited few times, well in my transparency in one day I ended up 4 times. But i never had better party before. @TwitChiefJudge & @TwitJailWarden both personel of Federal Twitter Jail are fun as well. Very nice crowd of people you might meet! IF you are regular cellmate you might get privileges as well, is to my knowledge that some cells are very customized for @DabneyPorte cell is Pink, for @PegFitzpatrick everything is in sparkles @PamMktgNut got a personal assistant so she can check in Places while she is busy trying to get source code of cell lock and so on…. But here is the small secret if you are nice and bring to @TwitChiefJudge a bottle of whisky and to @TwitJailWarden so chocolate or diet coke you might be out before you know 🙂 

  • Leo, but #TwitterJail is fun as well, i visited few times, well in my transparency in one day I ended up 4 times. But i never had better party before. @TwitChiefJudge & @TwitJailWarden both personel of Federal Twitter Jail are fun as well. Very nice crowd of people you might meet! IF you are regular cellmate you might get privileges as well, is to my knowledge that some cells are very customized for @DabneyPorte cell is Pink, for @PegFitzpatrick everything is in sparkles @PamMktgNut got a personal assistant so she can check in Places while she is busy trying to get source code of cell lock and so on…. But here is the small secret if you are nice and bring to @TwitChiefJudge a bottle of whisky and to @TwitJailWarden some chocolate or diet coke you might be out before you know 🙂 

    • Jure, you are too funny. You have a trick for getting around TwitterJail, though, don’t you?

    • How did I miss this post? This is hilarious and I have to say that it has been awhile since I have hit the sparkle cell in Twitter Jail. Clearly I am not tweeting enough. You are the best Jure! xoxo

  • I love how we all adopt the same weird to describe the same concept. The first time I used Twitter jail to describe being locked out after a chat was spontaneous, and then it popped up everywhere. The collective unconscious at work.

  • This happened to me during the #NASATweetup for the Juno Launch at Kennedy Space Center back in August.  I called it Twitter Timeout!

  • I have never ended up in Twitter Jail but I did have my account suspended for five days.  It happened very quickly with little notification after using the Storify feature that notified everyone in the story that had been quoted.  I never did find out if it was because there was an excessive amount of the same link tweeted to multiple people that was picked up a Twitter monitoring automated tool or if I was reported as spam by users.  I’ll stop babbling here.  If you’re interested in the rest of the story and my main takeaways you can read it on my blog here:

  • I like how the article says someone who Tweets 100 per hour / 1000 per day can “Tweet normally again” after brief time-out in twitter jail. That level of tweeting is abnormal. :0

  • I end up in Twitter Jail all the time, but I tend to livetweet whatever I’m watching

  • I think I’m fine I don’t get close to the tweeting limits

  • Michelle Burke

    I think I came really close to ending up in there once with my @djshellymishaps during a social media week conference. It was Nancy Loo, Robert Feder, Steve Dahl and Richard Roeper speaking and there was a lot to say!

  • Many friends of mine hit #TwitterJail when #LostGirl is on, and they fae-natically tweet/retweet fae-vourite moments to other Fae Fans 🙂

  • I think it’s an awesome idea when it works. When I opened my account I was suspended for following too many people at a fast pace. Weird I was trying to move on to get to posting.

  • Eaf123

    thats what you think? 🙂 try following @norWEIRDgian

  • Jimmyeffnsmooth

    Does anyone have a good strategy to make more impacting posts without spamming? I’m a musician and I want to get heard without ending up in #TwitterJail

  • When you are in “twitter jail” does it say your account is suspended?

  • Twitter going crazy

  • Guest

    I’m in twitter jail right now for simply being a little bit too enthusiastic tweeting song lyrics! It’s been an hour and I hate not being able to tweet. Avoid thisif you can.

  • bill bo baggins

    follow me im lonely 🙁 @alexjdavies777:twitter 

  • Datlezebo

    But I didn’t even post no where near 100 tweets in that hour I went to twitter jail this is bullshit

    • E McArthur

      me too


    Follow Meh On Twitter @ChrisBLover_DCH 

  • Kuj

    Follow me on twitter @BruceTeye I’m #TeamFollowBack

  • @spikethespitta

    So I definitely end up in twitter jail everyday and unheard there’s an app that lets you tweet while in twitter jail. Who knows what it is?

  • Are they serious? First, it’s 140 characters, then it’s “TwitterJail”? I have never came close to that, but my lord! What is Twitter trying to do? Control us? That’s alright. There’s always Facebook, but even then, you are limited to the amount of friends that you can have. There has got to be something better than Twitter out there.

  • Twitter should have a proper way of dealing with stress on its servers. Start by deleting these spam profiles and only allow one person to have a profile for themselves.

  • [email protected]#$%^&*()_+

    i tweet at least once a day so i dont have to worry bout that

  • Anonymous

    But it’s pointless! Who’s gonna do that?! Really though, it’s sad! 1000 tweets a day? 100 an hour? Get a life!!!

    • Don’tAssume

      Um friends who are tweeting about schoolwork. Problem? Thought so. Don’t assume because I like something different to what you like, or more than you do, that I don’t have a life. I’m pretty sure I’m living. I have to have a life. Duh.

  • myspace

    how dhew yhu kno wen yhu in twitter jail ??? oan follow meh on twitter @Paint_My_Tweets mention fa ahh fb !

  • Hannibal B

    Follow me @Mickey_Rebel CHAAHHH!!! TWEET WITH ME…

  • Jesslyn^_^

    Follow @TheOnlyLove_Xo

  • Twitter turned out to be a waste of time for growing my music business aspirations. They love having their own contest for making money in the frame of a capitol society with a constitutional republic, but if you are an up and coming entreprenuer they will go out of their way to play the dictator by suspending users under their vague rules and regulations. After spending nearly a year garnering 40,000 follwers, they dcided to suspend me every time i got near 1,000 per day followers (today it was 931, i counted). I hope nothing but the worst for a company that lures business followers with the promise of growing a great enterprise for each new account (the American dream), only to pull the plug on people when they cross an invisible line that is impossible to see. This set up is clearly ONLY for twitter and established businesses and stars to get followers and make money, NOT upstarts.

  • @agnitsch77

    when i try to go to my page it say invalid password or user name. is this jail

  • erika_clark7

    I have been in twitter jail twice in the past 24 hours and it sucks!! I can’t reply when people tweet me and its putting a damper on me and my friends tweet war. We have to get 1000 tweets and I’m in jail and she is still tweeting. Just watch what you do because twitter jail sucks!!!!

  • frediaa

    hell no

  • seigneur_isaac

    God i’m pissed atm. Second account for Christ sake.. it’s a goof idea tho. Guess i’ve to chill….

  • seigneur_isaac

    Typo “good”.

  • TooBluntTooPersistent

    My account was suspended, w/o notice, for 5 days prior to the 2012 election.Twitter said I was sending unsolicited tweets. (go figure). I had sent tweets to news media re lack of coverage of voter suppression.

  • some one is saying that twitter is jill so can you still say it

  • One way to end up in twitter jail is to tweet this vote 100 times an hour or 1000 times per day: #JasonHeyward #FaceofMLB @MLBNetwork

  • andrew loyd

    I have just had my account suspended 3 days prior to an

    My posts were to some degree repetitious but they were a
    political message which would reach different demographics at different times
    of the day across the under hahstags.

    If you check the spam act political communication is exempt
    of the spam act.

    There were no monies derived from the tweets. About 10-20
    per day. There was no personal attacks and many tweets that were @ were
    television programs.

    It also appears Twitter is removing posts with hyperlinks to
    particular websites which may impact powerful lobby groups in the US. So much
    for free speech.

    Meanwhile the porn spam bots continue under the same has tag
    along with the some vial language poster with he most vitriol of language.

    Id say I was reported by someone with enough sway to have me
    canned 2 days prior the election.

    I cant see Twitter surviving under this reporting model.
    Business will need several accounts to prevent suspension.

    Now that Twitter are implementing advertising it will only
    take one of the other big dotcoms to release and improved version before
    complete collapse.

    If I were business I wouldn’t invest the time with such
    volatility in the reporting procedure.

    It appears someone with power has had me suspended at a

    I cant see Twitter sustaining long term business.

    Its a lot to lose.

  • I’m wondering how you get 100 from 1000/24.

    • letsalcido

      You don’t, they are two different/separate limits, let’s say that you post 50 tweets for 20 consecutive hours, then you’d have reached 1000 in a 24hr block and therefore you won’t be able to tweet for a while (I don’t know how long they block you, may be until the 24hr block is complete? 4 hours for instance?), however you were never blocked during those 20hrs, whereas if you had tweeted 100 tweets in a 60min period you would be blocked till the next 60min period, and if this happened 10 times (10 hrs) you would be blocked for the rest of the 24hr period… I hope I explained myself clearly.



  • The G Spot


  • The G Spot

    i meant @TheGSpot_HipHop

  • jdearman77

    I think in this day and age, twitter should expand the tweet limits and the # of followers to say 10,000 followers, max – 5000 tweets a day and such. People tweet a lot more as a source of information, conversation and more

  • jdearman77

    I understand the need for a limit but 1000 isn’t enough especially if your twitter account provides a information service or other service to people. And you dont have a ton of followers yet. Celebs are really lucky as they dont have to worry about limits because they have a million followers. But us other folks have to worry about it. In this day and age people use twitter a lot more they should expand the followers # and the tweet limit

  • jdearman77

    Same thing with LINKEDIN, what is the point of CALLING Twitter , facebook, and LINKEDIN, NETWORKING SITES when the sites punish you for trying to meet new people? They should not be called NETWORKING SITES (They should be called Staying in touch with people you already know sites)

  • jdearman77

    Isn’t the point of SOCIAL NETWORKING to try to meet and network with NEW PEOPLE not just people you ALREADY KNOW? GIVE ME A BREAK TWITTER, FACEBOOK, AND LINKDEIN. I know you want to control spam, but you’re hurting a lot of people who are using your sites for networking purposes.

  • I got sent to Twitter Jail and I have no idea why. I only had 130 tweets since I joined, but one night — there I was in Twitter Jail with the keys thrown out. I had to sign a promise not to send unwanted tweets and especially tweets with # in them. Unwanted according to [email protected]?

    • James Childress

      Perhaps your account was hacked and tweets were sent without your knowledge. Hackers seem to know how to hide them from the user so they never know until their followers give them a heads or in your case Twitter Jail.

  • TRkitty5327

    so that’s why I got banned on TRkitty5327?! twitter bans you if you keep going to twitter jail? um I don’t like that idea at all,you see I love typing,so it can’t be helped if I go over the limit sometimes,it’s called you need to add more characters so people can type longer….

    • Isaiah Thomas

      If you love typing, get a Tumblr. Can type all you want, it’s like a personal diary/blog.

  • Does using other sites like have anything to do with it. I know I didn’t tweet 100 posts in one hour today. #IJS

  • Alyssa_Cena

    i go to Twitter Jail 2-3 times a day

  • Moi Ra

    so, is it considered jail when you get one of those things that says, you’re account is temporarily suspended and then everything goes to zero, I cant see my tweets when there. Then I’m told aggressive following or unsolicited tweets!

  • cezovski

    I’ve been suspended twice and I have not been close to 100 tweets/hour or 1000 tweets a day. I don’t know what the number of people you can follow in a certain time period is, but I don’t think that’s it either. If they don’t tell you what the heck you’ve done wrong, how can you stop doing it? None of my tweets could possibly be considered offensive, but could someone be reporting me because they didn’t like how many of my tweets ended up in their box? If so, why don’t they just unfiollow me? I wish I could figure this one out!!

  • Kara Shawnae

    I just retweeted a lot and it wouldn’t let me post any more and I’m all like, what the heck. Dumb twitter jail.

  • Aaron Schwinn

    We have landed in Twitter jail a few times! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Maddie

    I posted 1 tweet and I think I was hacked and someone posted a whole bunch of stuff on my profile that I didn’t tweet and I can see how many followers I have and I can’t see how many followers I even have im a KID!!!!!

  • Maddie

    I was on twitter looking at my friends profiles and then it said I couldn’t post or look at anything this is ridiculous and I didn’t post anything that day I don’t even have like any posts!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Uustle

    Im in twitter jail right now, I want my free phone call

  • Tanja

    I’m in Twitter Jail right now…