Twitter Confirms a “Security Incident” that Led to Exposing Private Circle Tweets
Circle Tweets Were Leaked to the Public.
Twitter recognized a security error regarding Twitter Circles in a statement sent to affected users on 5 May 2023. The company mentioned a “security incident” some weeks after the users noticed the initial problem.
The Circle Tweets
Twitter users reported a security problem with Circle Tweets since April 2023. Circle was first released in May 2022, and, similar to Instagram’s Close Friends functionality, allowed users to share texts only with a close circle of friends.
You choose who’s in your Twitter Circle, and only the individuals you’ve added can reply to and interact with the Tweets you share in the circle.
But these private tweets appeared on feeds of other users, outside the Circle, also. More, people who didn’t even follow the authors of the private Tweets were able to see them. But the company assures that the problem has been remediated, even though they didn’t disclose what caused the issue.
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 to which you were posting. This issue was identified by our security team and immediately fixed so that these tweets were no longer visible outside of your Circle.
The Public Reaction
After Twitter’s statement, some voices pointed out the fact that the security problem comes after massive layoffs. Security experts have been laid off a few months ago, and the total amount of employees diminished by 60%.
Among the fired employees were entire teams responsible for fighting hate speech and ensuring user safety on the platform, senior managers and engineers.
In this context, ex-Twitter employees filed a class-action lawsuit at a San Francisco federal court regarding these terminations.
i just saw someone’s post from their twitter circle
i’m not following them, i don’t know who they are, and they most likely don’t know me
it wasn’t the worst thing ever but still somewhat personal, just letting you all know that twitter circles are apparently no longer private
— SL (@slbad_) April 8, 2023
Other changes in the social media platform involve Twitter’s recommendation algorithm. This was changed to increase tweet exposure and Elon Musk, the owner of the company, explained it would be updated every 28 to 48 hours.