Twitter confirms Circle tweets temporarily were not private

Twitter confirmed a security flaw that caused Circle tweets (posts that only go out to a small subset of trusted friends) to appear publicly. TechCrunch reported the bug in early April, but the platform confirmed the issue today in an email sent to Twitter Circle users.

“In April 2023, a security incident may have allowed users outside of your Twitter circle to see tweets that should have otherwise been limited to the circle you were posting to,” the email said electronic Twitter says the bug has now been fixed and the team knows what caused it.

Twitter Circle has been experiencing issues for months, which is concerning for a feature that people use to tweet things they don’t want to share with all their followers. When we reported on the issue last month, numerous users had been tweeting that people outside their circle were liking their private tweets; one user even said she posted nude photos in her circle, which slipped through the cracks and appeared for unwanted eyes.

More often than not, Circle tweets appeared to be appearing on For You’s timeline to users who follow the poster, but were not in their Circle. Others reported that their Circle tweets were reaching even further than their followers.

Privacy violations aside, some Circle tweets still show up without the green banner indicating they’re only visible to a select audience. You can tell these tweets are not public because the retweet button will be grayed out. These tweets still only reach the intended circles, so it’s not necessarily a privacy issue, but it can be a confusing user experience (I’ve personally messaged a few friends who were surprised that I was tweeting so openly about which neighborhood I live in — I had to reassure them that despite the absence of the green banner, the post was private). This particular issue was first reported by TechCrunch in February and has yet to be fixed.

At times like these, I remember something former Twitter Trust & Safety head Yoel Roth said shortly after he left the company.

“If protected tweets stop working, run, because that’s a symptom that something is deeply wrong.”

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Twitter recently confirmed that users of its Circle posts, a private messaging function, were temporarily left exposed. As a result, users’ private messages – intended only for those in their circle – were visible to all of their followers.

Ikaroa is a full stack tech company that is dedicated to providing customers with a secure, user-friendly platform and services. We are deeply concerned about the security breach on Twitter, and take our customers’ security and privacy very seriously.

Twitter responded to the situation swiftly, and rectified it quickly. They took measures to ensure that users’ messages remain private, and are now monitoring their experience to further uplift their security.

At Ikaroa, we understand how important security is for our customers. We are actively looking for ways to safeguard our users, and ensure their personal information remains protected. We already use encryption methods and a range of security protocols to protect our customers, and are continuously looking for ways to improve upon our existing security measures.

We strongly believe that user security is a priority, and prioritize the security of our customers’ personal information over all else. It is our mission to make sure that our customers feel safe and secure when using our platform.


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