Is It Legal to Sell a Twitter Account?

Beware the consequences of buying and selling Twitter accounts

Can you buy Twitter accounts or sell them online? In short, it depends on who you are. No one has faced criminal prosecution for selling Twitter accounts, but anyone who does will likely be banned from the social media platform.

Can You Sell Your Twitter Account?

For the average person, selling a Twitter account is not allowed under the guidelines posted on the website. It has been clearly stated that it is not legal for users to sell their accounts to businesses that want to accumulate Twitter followers. Twitter has clearly stated that “attempts to sell Twitter account” or “extort other forms of payment” with Twitter accounts will automatically result in an account suspension.

Twitter logo on building
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Exceptions to the Rules

In 2009, the Twitter account @drew was sold by tech blogger Drew Olanoff to TV personality Drew Carey for over $25,000. Drew Carey's case was unique since he promised to buy the account and donate all of the proceeds to charity. Twitter decided to excuse the sale due to the fact that a public figure was involved and proceeds were being given to charity.

During the same year, Twitter once again made an exception for a business to sell its account. James Cox held a Twitter account named @CNNBrk where he would post news updates from CNN, which had over one million followers. Instead of merely selling the account to CNN, it seems that CNN found a way around the strict Twitter policy. CNN decided to hire James as a consultant for the company, and this acquisition included transferring his Twitter account. There was never any backlash from Twitter, so it appears that this transaction was okay under the rules.

Twitter Identity Squatting

Twitter may suspend the account of anyone that it deems to be an identity squatter, or someone who creates an account under the identity of another individual or brand in hopes of eventually selling it. There are several factors that Twitter uses to determine whether a person is an identity squatter.

When Is It Legal to Sell a Twitter Account?

Despite the potential risks, some people buy and sell Twitter accounts online anyway. For business owners who want to abide by the law, the way to go would be to offer a consultant contract to the holder of the account. This would be the best way for an individual to buy and sell accounts because there is already precedent for this in the case of CNN News consultant James Cox.

Buying and Selling Twitter Followers

While it's not permissible to sell or buy Twitter accounts, there's no rule or law against buying Twitter followers. In fact, there are companies that specialize in selling Twitter followers. Even comedian Dan Nainan admitted that he purchased 150,000 followers for his account.

Having Twitter followers is important for any business since it makes the brand appear to be very popular and successful; however, if customers find out that a company is buying followers, that business is likely to lose credibility. The best way to build a Twitter following is organically by engaging with other users.