We’re all familiar with this scenario: You’re on social media in a very public space but want to speak to a friend privately, so you jump onto a personal message format, which many social networks have. If you’re on Twitter, you send a direct message, or DM, to speak to your friend and do so happily knowing it’s private.
But it turns out that it’s not as private as everyone thought. Twitter has been accused of holding on to the DMs well past the time of when you delete your account.
Lack of Privacy in DMs
It was reported last Friday that TechCrunch was able to find direct messages on Twitter belonging to people whose accounts were deactivated or suspended. This means your private direct messages are not very private at all.
However, TechCrunch found messages from accounts that had been deactivated or suspended long ago showing that as far as DMs are concerned, that data isn’t deleted – it’s still around.
Just last month it was revealed that some Android users’ tweets who had enabled the “Protect your tweets” setting may have been made public because of a bug that disabled the privacy feature if account changes were made.
After this was made public, Twitter said that they “recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us and are committed to earning that trust every day.”
Proceed with Caution
Because of Twitter’s statements, it makes it hard to trust them. They stated we should know what data they’re collecting on us and how they use it and that we should have control of that. That all sounds great and very reasonable.
However, those messages that are meant to be most private, direct messages, aren’t private at all if another website is able to get access to them many years later. It makes Twitter appear to be very disingenuous.
Does this make you worry about your Twitter messages? Did you deactivate an account at one point? Let us know how this Twitter news that they retain DMs long after an account is deactivated affects you.