How to get an already registered Twitter ID

by Yianni Garcia on March 22, 2011 · 25 comments

in social media

Often times the Twitter handle that aligns perfectly with your brand or product is taken. For McGraw-Hill, I had to settle for @mcgrawhillcos because @mcgrawhill was taken…Grrrr. However, you may be able to claim an already reserved Twitter ID if your claim meets the following criteria:

  1. The user is blatantly impersonating you
  2. The user is misusing your trademark (pretending to be your company)
  3. The user has been inactive for 6 months or more

Criteria #3 is how I secured the Standard & Poor’s twitter ID – @standardpoors.

These are the steps I followed:

Step #1: Check Twitter’s inactive user policy and Trademark policy to make sure you meet their criteria.

Step #2: Once you are sure that the Twitter ID you want meets the criteria for takeover, raise a ticket.

Step #3: Choose the Trademark misuse form if you’re reporting an inactive account or an account that is impersonating your brand.

Step #4:  Specify that you’re a trademark holder and would like to claim the username.


Step #5: Fill out the trademark issue form. You will need specific trademark information such as trademarked word, registration number, registration office.

Step #6:  In the description, specify if the user has been inactive for more than 6 months. If the issue is brand or personal impersonation, specify how the user is doing this.

Step #7: Submit the claim. You will receive an email confirming your submission. The review process may take 2 weeks or more.

Twitter is constantly evolving and tweaking their process. If you go through this experience and have additional feedback, please add to the comments and I will update the post. Good luck!

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Brian Hanly April 26, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Thanks for the tips…I always wondered how to pick up inactive usernames on Twitter.

Carl July 1, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Thanks for the instructions.  The guy who registered my name has tweeted only once, over two years ago.  Hopefully, Twitter will give it back to it’s rightful owner.

By the way, Twitter now has a specific field for “inactive usernames” in the “Everything Else” category.  So, a trademark dispute might miss the mark.

Carl July 1, 2011 at 8:40 pm

A follow-up to the previous message, here’s the response I got from Twitter:

Hi there,If you’re looking to acquire an inactive or suspended username for personal use, please check back in a few months. We’re currently unable to accommodate individual requests for inactive or suspended usernames. We may release all inactive and/or suspended usernames in the future, but have not yet set a date for doing so.

Anwar October 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

we cant use this method for personal twitter account,  you can post a request at https://dev.twitter.com/discussions/262  about this. Then they may purge the dead accounts

Plzz do it if you need the inactive twitter handle

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