Twitter accidentally locked GOP Rep. Devin Nunes out of his account because he failed its anti-spam filter

Twitter accidentally locked GOP Rep. Devin Nunes out of his account because he failed its anti-spam filter
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, pauses at the end of testimony by witnesses Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019,AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
  • Twitter accidentally suspended GOP Rep. Devin Nunes on Tuesday for failing its anti-spam filter.
  • Twitter said its automated sytems blocked Nunes' account in "error" and that it reversed the action.
  • Nunes tried to sue Twitter over parody accounts pretending to be his cow and his mother.

Republican Rep. Devin Nunes was briefly locked out of his Twitter account on Tuesday evening after he failed to get past the company's anti-spam filters, the company said.

"Our automated systems took enforcement action on the account in error and it has since been reversed. The enforcement action was taken as a result of the account's failure to complete an anti-spam challenge that we regularly deploy across the service," a Twitter spokesperson told Insider.

Twitter, like other websites, uses reCAPTCHAs - puzzles that require users to click on certain images to prove they're humans. According to Twitter's statement, Nunes was unable to successfully complete a reCAPTCHA, prompting Twitter's systems to block access to his account.

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It is unclear whether it was Nunes or a staffer for Nunes was responsible for the reCAPTCHA fail. A spokesperson for Nunes did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Twitter users were quick to mock Nunes' over the suspension given his antagonistic history with the social media platform.


"this can't be real," tweeted the account @DevinCow, while the account @DevinAlt mocked Nunes' inability to solve the reCAPTCHA puzzle.

In March 2019, Nunes sued Twitter for $250 million over tweets posted by the two anonymous parody accounts, as well as a real account for Republican strategist Liz Mair. Nunes had argued that Twitter was liable for the tweets, which he said ruined his reputation and contributed to him winning a 2018 election by a "much narrower margin" than in previous years.

In June 2020, the courts tossed out his case, ruling that the social media network cannot be held liable for unflattering tweets made by its users.