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Twitter oops! Your protected tweets may actually have been public

Twitter oops! Your protected tweets may actually have been public
[Photo: Ake/rawpixel]

If you have been spending time trolling people from your private Twitter account, in the words of Ricky Ricardo, you may have a little ‘splainin’ to do.

Twitter said today that it has discovered a security flaw that made “protected” tweets public when some changes were made to accounts for Twitter for Android users.

Based on the announcement, it sounds like anyone who had a private Twitter account, used Twitter for Android, and updated the email address linked to their account over the last four years or so (specifically, between November 2014 and January 2019) could have had their supposedly protected messages exposed.

Twitter said it fixed the flaw on January 14, but was issuing a public notice about the error because it couldn’t figure out the exact number of accounts that had been affected and wanted to reach out to users who may have experienced the problem. Twitter noted that it had turned the protections back on for Android users who had inadvertently switched them off.

“We’re very sorry this happened, and we’re conducting a full review to help prevent this from happening again,” it said.

Twitter is now contacting the affected users it knows about, but it’s too late for anyone who was trying to balance social media use while protecting themselves from trolls, stalkers, ogres, and Russian bots.

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