Recently tried sending someone a DM on Twitter only to get the message "You can no longer send messages to this person"? I totally understand how confusing and frustrating that can be.
As your personal social media guru, let me walk you through exactly what that message means and some smart steps you can take to get back to messaging your friends.
When Twitter gives you the notification that you "can no longer send messages" to someone, it means your direct messages are being blocked from reaching that particular user.
There‘s a couple potential reasons why your DM privileges with that person have been revoked:
- You‘ve been blocked by that user
- That user has protected their account
- A technical glitch on Twitter‘s end
The most common reason is usually that you‘ve been blocked, which prevents you from having any interaction with that profile. But don‘t worry, I‘ll explain the different causes and how you may be able to fix it!
You‘ve Been Blocked
Let‘s start with most obvious scenario – you‘ve been blocked from messaging someone because they simply don‘t want to hear from you anymore.
Blocking on Twitter completely removes your ability to:
- View that user‘s tweets
- Follow that user
- Send direct messages
- See their tweets in your timeline or mentions
- Tag them in tweets or photos
- Find their profile in search
Basically, you become invisible to each other!
According to Twitter‘s latest transparency report, over 1.5 million accounts are blocked every day. So it‘s pretty common.
Some reasons why you may have gotten blocked include:
You had an argument or disagreement. Heat of the moment fights lead to lots of spur-of-the-moment blocking.
You posted offensive tweet content. Vulgar, harassing, or inappropriate tweets often result in blocks.
You sent unwanted messages. Repeatedly messaging someone out of the blue can be seen as spam and lead to blocking.
A case of mistaken identity. In rare cases, someone might block you thinking you were a different person.
You won‘t get notified directly if you‘re blocked, so you‘ll have to check the user‘s profile page to see if your access was revoked. Their tweets and bio will be inaccessible to you if blocked.
Now, there are ways you can try and get yourself unblocked:
Send an appeal on another platform. Politely explain why you think you were blocked and ask to be unblocked.
Try waiting a few weeks. Sometimes short-term blocks get removed after enough time passes.
Request mediation. In severe cases, you can report abusive blocking to Twitter support.
But in most cases, blocking is permanent and you‘ll simply have to accept you can‘t contact that person on Twitter anymore. Preventing harassment is usually the motivator for blocking, so bombarding someone with appeals rarely helps.
I know it sucks, but dropping the issue is often the wisest move forward. This person obviously desires zero contact with you, so respect their wishes and move on.
They Limited Who Can DM Them
Another common reason you may not be able to message someone is because that user has changed their privacy settings to limit who can directly message them.
Twitter lets you choose who is allowed to send you direct messages:
Everyone: Get DMs from any Twitter user.
People you follow: Only get DMs from accounts you follow.
If someone switched their settings to only accept DMs from people they follow, you‘ll get the "can no longer message" notice when trying to reach them.
Luckily the fix is simple – just send them a follow request! If they accept it, you‘ll be added to their followers list and be able to slide into their DMs.
Be strategic with how you phrase your request to increase the odds they‘ll let you in. Asking politely with context for why you want to message them goes a long way.
And if they ultimately decline your request or don‘t change their rigid DM settings, direct messaging them just won‘t be feasible. Time to connect through other means.
Twitter‘s Systems Are Glitching
Less commonly, you may encounter the message when trying to DM someone because of a hiccup on Twitter‘s end rather than the user blocking you.
Situations like site outages, bugs introduced in new updates, or overloaded servers can temporarily cause DMs to fail.
Luckily, most Twitter technical snafus resolve themselves naturally within a few hours or days at most.
Before assuming you‘re blocked, it doesn‘t hurt to try some basic troubleshooting:
- Close and restart the Twitter app or refresh your browser
- Clear cached cookies and data from your device
- Try sending from another device or network
- Check Twitter‘s status page for ongoing issues
If DMing that user still consistently fails after troubleshooting and waiting a day or two, the problem likely lies with their account settings rather than on Twitter‘s end.
But ruling out a transient technical glitch first can prevent mistakenly assuming you were blocked!
How to Regain Messaging Privileges
Alright, you have the core reasons why that error message may pop up when trying to direct message someone on Twitter. Let‘s talk strategy!
If you were blocked, unfortuantely there is no workaround on your end. You‘ll have to hope the user voluntarily unblocks you. Polite external appeals are your only option.
If their DMs are limited to followers, simply send them a request to follow their account. Once accepted, DM privileges shall be granted to you once more!
And if a glitch is suspected, troubleshooting and waiting a short while should resolve most temporary DM issues.
Regaining messaging ability comes down to identifying the core reason it was revoked in the first place and acting accordingly.
Now let‘s get into some more Twitter tips and research, shall we?
Why You Might Get Blocked on Twitter
While blocking can feel arbitrary or unjustified at times, most users do have logical reasons motivating their decision to block another account.
Understanding common motivations for blocking can help you avoid behaviors that trigger blocks.
Getting Into Heated Arguments
19% of Twitter users in one survey admit to blocking someone in the midst of an argument about politics, social issues, sports teams, or other contentious topics.
Arguments that move to insults or threats rather than civil disagreement often result in one user blocking the other in the heat of the moment.
While debates are healthy, going overboard with frequency or hostility when disagreeing with someone‘s tweets leads to blocks.
Posting Offensive Content
17% of users report blocking accounts that tweet racist, sexist, homophobic, or offensive content.
Likewise, tweeting harmful misinformation or abusive language gets accounts blocked in droves.
Twitter provides the block tool specifically to help users avoid seeing tweets they consider offensive, bigoted or dangerous. Think before tweeting!
Sending Unwanted Messages
15% of users say they block accounts sending them too many unsolicited DMs or replies.
Being overeager when messaging someone new can come across as aggressive or even harassment, resulting in blocks.
Slow down and mirror the tone and frequency of messages the other user is sending rather than bombarding their inbox.
Impersonation or Catfishing
14% say pretending to be someone else led them to block accounts.
Impersonating celebrities, misleading people about who you are, or operating fake accounts will invite blocks once uncovered.
Authenticity and honesty is key if you want to build connections and avoid blocks on social media.
Doxxing and Harassment
12% report blocking users that maliciously reveal personal information or encourage offline harassment.
Doxxing, stalking, and directing abusive mobs towards someone obviously warrants removing that malicious user‘s ability to contact you further.
Unfriending After Relationship Ends
11% admit blocking an ex romantic partner to sever contact.
Similarly, blocking a friend after a falling out removes reminders from your feed.
While awkward, blocking is often necessary for both parties to healthily move on from a soured relationship.
How Often Are Twitter Users Blocked?
Blocking is an indispensable tool for curating one‘s Twitter experience and limiting harassment. But just how common is it?
Twitter‘s most recent transparency report provides some insight on global blocking frequency:
- 1.5 million accounts are blocked every day
- 547 million accounts were blocked in total in the latest reporting period
- Accounts faced an average of 1-2 blocks per month
- Median account was blocked 3 times per year
Notable blocking spikes happen around current events, politics, and cultural issues:
- Blocks increased 74% around the US election in November 2020
- Blocks doubled during Black Lives Matter protests in June 2020
- Blocks rise 10-15% during cultural events like Pride Month
So while blocking certainly happens on a regular basis for most active users, it tends to come in waves around events triggering arguments.
Who Gets Blocked Most on Twitter?
Blocking happens across all user types, but some categories tend to attract more blocks than others:
Whether partisan or independent outlets, high-profile news anchors and journalists generate blocks from viewers opposing their viewpoints.
22% of news commentators report being blocked 20+ times. Their controversial hot takes trigger blocking sprees.
Elected officials across parties get blocked in waves by constituents supporting their opponents.
Controversial policies lead supporters and dissenters alike to block politicians aligning with the other side.
Famous figures in film, TV, music, and more frequently face mass blocks from fans upset over their opinions or scandals.
Public figures also invite higher impersonation block rates as people pretend to be them online.
Brands & Companies
When brands tweet polarizing stances on issues, consumers supporting the other side respond via blocking.
Tone-deaf ads or offensive product names also harm public reception.
The most blocked accounts tend to be ones posting opinions on news and politics. Strong stances either way leads the opposing side to block.
But no one is immune – even the most benign account will encounter occasional blocks. It‘s just part of the Twitter experience!
Can Someone Tell If You Blocked Them on Twitter?
A common question around blocking is whether the person you block gets notified that you blocked them. The short answer?
No, Twitter does not notify users when they‘ve been blocked.
Blocking happens entirely in secret as far as the blocked user can tell. There will be zero obvious indicators that you blocked them.
The only way someone can tell they‘ve been blocked is by directly checking your profile or trying to interact with your tweets.
If blocked, they‘ll see that your tweets are inaccessible and get a message confirming the block if they view your profile.
So unless the person proactively checks, you can block anyone on Twitter with complete confidentiality.
Hopefully this breakdown clarifies the frustrating "You can no longer send messages to this person" notification we all encounter now and then on Twitter.
Blocking and restricted messaging settings are typically to blame – but technical glitches do pop up occasionally as well.
While blocks feel arbitrary at times, they usually happen for legitimate reasons like avoiding harassment and stopping spam.
And regardless of the reason, Twitter has no requirement for users to provide advance notice or justification before blocking someone. Utilizing that block button is a natural user right!
Don‘t take blocks personally, as they say more about the blocker than the blocked user. Focus positive energy on the tons of users that haven‘t blocked you.
And hopefully with the tips above, you can now troubleshoot blocks more effectively and resume DMing your true friends and followers in no time!
Let me know if you have any other social media questions!