Twitter has confirmed a bug which exposed the private tweets of Android app users. The company says it has become aware of an issue pertaining to the “protect your tweets” setting.
This particular setting is designed for those users who wish their tweets to be seen only by their followers and not the general public. The failure to secure that setting could be highly significant for users who choose this route due to work or family reasons.
Tweets going public could have serious ramifications for those users with strict social media usage policies as part of their employment contracts.
Astonishingly, Twitter says the bug was active for more than four years, from November 2014 to this month.
The company said the issue affected some users, rather than all, and has now been fixed. Those users whose privacy had been compromised by the bug have been alerted and the setting has now been re-enabled.
In a post on the firm’s Help Center site, Twitter apologised for the breach in trust and said it was conducting a full review into the incident.
Related: How to delete your Twitter account
“We’ve become aware of an issue in Twitter for Android that disabled the “Protect your Tweets” setting if certain account changes were made,” the post reads.
“You may have been impacted by this issue if you had protected Tweets turned on in your settings, used Twitter for Android, and made certain changes to account settings such as changing the email address associated with your account between November 3, 2014, and January 14, 2019.
“People on iOS or the web were not impacted. We fixed the issue on January 14, and we’ll provide updates if other important information becomes available.”
Twitter informed TechCrunch that the email address change is just one of a number of account changes that may have triggered the bug.However, the company did not get into specifics.
So, if you prefer to protect your tweets from public view, it’s worth checking your registered address for correspondence from the social network.
For some reason the company “can’t confirm every account that may have been impacted” so is publicly making the announcement. Not a great sign, folks.
Have you been affected by the Twitter protected tweets bug? Drop us a line @TrustedReviews on Twitter.