Last year Twitter introduced a fun new way to tweet without having to start an alt account: Twitter Circle, which allows users to only tweet to accounts they deem trustworthy when it comes to posts you don’t want the world to see. But if you’ve been using it to air your darkest secrets, you might want to put the kibosh on that, at least for now.
As per TechCrunch, Twitter Circle addicts have been reporting a bug in which posts they meant only for an elite group were mysteriously winding up where they shouldn’t. Sometimes they pop up in the “For You” timeline of people who follow them but are not in one’s Circle. Other times they’re out there in the general public, for anyone to see.
Confirmed someone I'm not even following was able to see a private Twitter Circle tweet (thank you @TheSahilDev)
— Theo – t3.gg (@t3dotgg) April 8, 2023
Is this yet another Elon Musk-era bug? Something more nefarious? One former employee told Tech Crunch a theory on what was up:
“Twitter seems to be outright failing to filter out private content before serving it to users,” Theo Browne, a creator and former Twitch engineer, told <em>TechCrunch</em>. Twitter recently revealed the source code behind its recommendation algorithm, which uses multiple models to source, rank and filter tweets. Browne hypothesized that the sourcing model is surfacing private content, but these private tweets are not adequately being filtered out.
Of course, it’s hard for anyone to confirm what’s going on since Musk canned Twitter’s public relations team, like he did the janitors at Twitter HQ. But a number of people have tested out the problem, with unhappy results:
testing 1, 2, 3
this is a circle tweet
if you are not in my circle please like this
i’m trying to see how broken circle tweets are
— pudding person (@JUNlPER) April 10, 2023
testing how broken circle tweets are. the only person i’ve added to mine is twitter user @catturd2
if you aren’t him, like this post.
if you are, please DM me urgently sir. i have received concerning news that joe biden and the woke mob will be voting to repeal the LIGMA act
— soul nate (@MNateShyamalan) April 10, 2023
i thought this was possibly fearmongering but i tested it myself and yeah circle tweets are now visible to everyone LMAOOO
— Reb (@serinide) April 9, 2023
Upon finding out that Twitter Circle posts were materializing outside their Circle, people were not pleased.
Be careful on this broken website.https://t.co/5XuR1YQsxG
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) April 10, 2023
Heads up: it seems like Twitter Circles are broken now too, with Circle tweets appearing publicly on the For You tab – shown to people who aren't in your Circle, and don't even follow you at all 🙂🙃
— Fochti (@fochti) April 8, 2023
twitter circle tweets are glitching and they're PUBLIC?!?! pic.twitter.com/rRGmpEWpXD
— two lips 🌷🌷 (@likethedawnrose) April 10, 2023
Your circle tweets are not private. I repeat: your circle tweets are not private.
— ULOMA (@ulxma) April 10, 2023
WAIT. people OUTSIDE OF UR CIRCLE CAN SEE CIRCLE TWEETS? pic.twitter.com/sILnePNFIn
— Janna/Maya 🇸🇨 | #FREELOONA | ramadan arc! 🌙 (@seselwacyno) April 8, 2023
Perhaps Musk and his team will eventually get around to fixing this problem, as they have with other Twitter hiccups. In the meantime, maybe don’t overshare or make fun of that mutual friend in a forum that’s supposed to be only semi-public.