Travelers flying in and out of Japan’s Chubu Centrair International Airport on Sept 17, may have noticed a lack of updates coming from the facility’s official Twitter account. That’s because from 8 to 10 a.m., it got shut down by Twitter for having been too young to operate an account.
According to the airport, which is in Tokoname City, Aichi Prefecture, on the morning of Sept 17, the person in charge of the airport’s Twitter account thought it would be nice to put in the date of Chubu Centrair’s opening in the “Birth date” field as: 2005/02/17.
That would make the airport a strapping 14 years of age today. However, Chubu Centrair would only have been four years old when it opened a Twitter account back in January of 2010.
However, Twitter’s terms of service state that for an account to be valid, the user must be over 13 years old at the time the account is registered. Once Chubu Centrair’s account had 2005/02/17 entered as its birth date, it was automatically locked as a violation of the regulation, since to Twitter’s internal workings it looked like the account had been originally made by a four-year-old, who’d then flaunted the rules throughout puberty.
After what must have been an interesting chat with a customer service rep at Twitter, the major transportation hub managed to get its account reactivated by instead inputting the birth date of the person managing the account.
Readers of the news had a good laugh over the misunderstanding.
“This kind of thing happens a lot.”
“This is why we shouldn’t leave everything to machines. They lack common sense.”
“Rules are rules.”
“Twitter’s not very smart.”
“Why did they bother putting the birth date of the person? Just change the year, knuckleheads.”
“I did the same thing by mistake. The first thing I did after creating an account was restore my account.”
“Welcome to the age of AI.”
Sources: Yomiuri Shimbun, Kinisoku
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