I cache users/show details in a database in my app and if the user
information is requested by the app and the cache is expired, an api
call is made to refresh it. If the api call returns "404 Not Found", I
could check the error in the response body to see if it's suspended or
does not exist but I discovered that to be unreliable. For example:

http://api.twitter.com/1/users/show.xml?id=theboygeorge Says the
account is suspended but
http://twitter.com/theboygeorge Seems to indicate that the account
does not exist instead of displaying the usual suspended page

How I'm dealing with this now is: I flag the suspect id with a time
stamp and if future api calls for that id is successful the flag is
removed and back to business as usual. If the flag is on the id for
more than 21 days, I assume the id will never be reinstated or it is

Has anyone else run into this? Is 21 days enough time to wait for a
user to get an account reinstated? Twitter, could you tell us if you
have a policy on how long an id remains suspended before it's deleted?
Or better yet, fix the 404 response.

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