Twitter Name Squatting and how to claim an unused Twitter account

I recently had another brainstorm regarding a new online recruitment related business idea! **eyes roll**

This one is for a recruitment directory called Career Town. (No link yet as the website isn't operational)

I have held the for a number of years and felt ready to embark on this venture with the help of a very good web developer.
One of the first things I wanted to do was to make sure that I could register the name on Twitter and Facebook to allow me to post relevant news and information on the top social media sites.
Facebook wasn't a problem, I'm still amazed that their are lots of usernames still available. I created the with ease and currently have 46 Likes so I was able to quickly claim the username.
Twitter on the other hand was a little more difficult. I searched and found that someone had been Twitter Squatting (I think that's the correct term!)
Anyhow, I registered the name
After a few days and a fair bit of reading, I enquired with Twitter about this and they referred me to their section on Name Squatting Policy There were a lot of big scary words like "Brand Impersonation" and "Trademark Infringement" Well, I thought, I have the website, I have the idea so in a sense I was right to enquire.
I was really quite astounded that Twitter took a total of 8 days (not working days) to assist me in making my claim. I now have the Twitter account that I wanted
So thank you Twitter, your customer service is far superior than that of Facebook (that's another story)


  1. Hey Rich, great post! But you didn't let us know 'how' you got your Twitter name. Can you let us know how you contacted Twitter and what you told them? I'm in the same situation.
    Thanks :)

  2. Hey Jabari
    Thanks for your comment. The post was written a couple of months ago now but here goes.
    I bought the domain some years ago. Never knew what to do with it until last year (2011)
    I went onto Twitter and noticed that the name CareerTown had been taken but wasn't being used. I registered CareerTownUK on Twitter.
    I then read some info on Brand Impersonation on Twitter
    I duly filled out their form and within a couple of days Twitter had changed my account name for me and sent me a validation email. Very smooth and painless!
    Excellent customer services!

  3. I've recently contacted them trying to get the handle for a domain name I own. The account is dormant so maybe I'll be in luck.

    I'll post back here with an update.

  4. Hi Ash
    If you have the domain name and a site or at least an idea for a site Twitter should understand.
    Good luck, let me know how you get on.

  5. The new site has in the meantime gone live. if you have a recruitment related business, lets exchange links Click here

  6. Many thanks for this, I have a similar situation with and the dormant relevant Twitter account, I have submitted the relevant forms stating that it was a crucial part of my business plan to have the account, and that unlike the dormant account, I was entitled to use the Google name as I provide Adwords services.


  7. hi rich - thanks for this. I have owned (this is a fake name for example purpose only) for over 13 years. I have built a large, very well known web site with tens of thousands of users there. I have a competitor who owns (hypothetical) and we have had problems with this guy stealing images, content, and concepts from our site in the past. Today I went to twitter to register @GoodPizzaTalk and low and behold, its taken. And it has two tweets. From back in 2010. Both Tweets are spam links to his web site. He has 114 followers.

    I have been in situations like this before, and my first inclination was to "out" him to Twitter right away. But then I saw all those articles implying you MUST have a Trademark in order to transfer the account into your name. In fact they clearly state on one of their pages "We will not transfer an account into your control unless you have a valid Trademark".

    As a result, I have instead written them an anonymous letter asking if simple *OWNERSHIP* of the domain name for 13 years is sufficient?

    Keep in mind, the words used in the twitter name are just regular words. Technically i dont "own" those words or that combination. Fortunately for me he posted links to his competing web site, which shows his intentions were bad. But I dont want to alert them, get told that I cant have the account, and that they'll just delete the links he posted. That would be a "Fail" in my book. I want to approach them with 100% assurance that it will come to me. Filing a trademark can cost thousands, and takes almost a year to complete...

  8. Wow! Sounds like you have a mission on your hands! Good luck! And keep us posted on events! Rich

  9. Hi There Rich

    Thanks for posting about this - can I just ask if the account had made any posts. I have the same situation only my user has been active, but not since September 2010. Will I still have a chance do you think?

    Best Wishes


    1. Hi Rich
      You will need to go through the procedures.
      See what happens.
      Good luck!

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  11. Didn't work for me, no email in 4 weeks, but I will try again soon. Twitter also mention they are working on a way to release old usernames, so this could help a lot of people.

  12. Congratulations to you! I think that accomplishment was quite extraordinary. Not typical for most people to get the turn-around, response and assistance in such matters. Blessings, Debby


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