Thursday, December 09, 2004

AOL has suspended an AIM account that I use regularly. When I attempt to sign in, I am directed to a page that tells me:
Your Screen Name is blocked from signing in to the AIM service.

Your Screen Name is blocked from signing in to the AIM service. There are several reasons why you may have received this message:

  1. Screen Names that were previously used on AOL but have been cancelled or suspended, can no longer be used on AIM. This includes both master accounts and sub-accounts. In order to continue using this Screen Name on AIM, please reactivate the account on AOL.

  2. AOL Screen Names that have one or more of the following Parental Controls set will no longer able to use AIM, even if they have previously been able to do so:
    - Instant Messages are Blocked.
    - Kid's Only age category.

    To access AIM, the Master Screen Name on the AOL account must go to AOL Keyword: Parental Controls and change the above settings for this Screen Name. In addition, your Screen Name must also be set to one of the following age categories: Young Teen, Mature Teen, or General (18+).

  3. Users who identify themselves as a child under the age of 13 may not use this service at this time. If you are an adult and have entered your birth date incorrectly, you may use a credit card to complete our age verification process now, or anytime within 30 days of the date when you identified yourself as a child. You will not be charged for this credit card verification.

    Click here to sign in to our age verification form to reactivate your Screen Name.

  4. An account may be terminated for violations of the terms of service.
This was never an AOL account; it was only an AIM screen name.

No parental controls were set.

The age verification system will not allow me to sign in with this account, leading me to believe that age verification is not the problem. I am quite sure I set the account up with my correct birthdate, anyhow.

That leaves only terms of service. But I read through their terms of service, and did not find any that I have violated. I use the account only for messaging a few friends. No email at all. No spamming. No questionable material. Did someone else hijack my account to do bad things? Is AOL erroneously blaming something on me? Are they suspending accounts for no reason at all?

It's just a silly IM account. I know that. But still, somehow, I feel violated.

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