September 8, 2007

Private Twitter accounts visible on Facebook

Messages from private Twitter accounts should be only read by other Twitter accounts that have been approved by the owner of the private Twitter account. I discovered that messages from private Twitter accounts can be read by other users on Facebook.

Peter Dedecker is one of my friends on Facebook. I am however not a follower of his private Twitter account. With my Twitter account I do not have access to his private Twitter messages.

Peter installed the Twitter application on Facebook, showing his Twitter messages on his Facebook account.

If you have a private Twitter account you have to be careful by installing the Twitter application on Facebook. This application assumes that all your friend on Facebook have also been accepted to follow your private messages on Twitter.

Update September 14, 2007
According to this blogpost new Twitter accounts cannot be accessed anymore thru Facebook. I just checked if I still have access to the private Twitter account used in the original post, which is still the case. It seems that private Twitters accounts that already are linked to Facebook accounts remain visible.


pangoo said...

It's so terrible

angela said...

An interesting question....

I suspect there's no other way around this issue, unless Twitter can distinguish which of your Facebook friends have access to follow you on Twitter. Asking your Facebook Twitter friends to login to see you private tweets on Facebook would be a pain.

I can't see how Twitter would even be able to authenticate me with my Facebook account -- it has a 20 character limit on my name in Twitter!

angelacw said...

It looks like private Twitter accounts are now private in Facebook.

"Protected Twitter users may not use the Facebook application for privacy reasons. Please visit the account settings page on Twitter and uncheck the "Protect my updates" box if you would like to use this application."

jon said...

so what's the freaking complaint?!

if you have to LOG IN to twitter in order to share your stuff, then obviously you're allowing your private stuff to be shared, BY THE FACEBOOK APPLICATION. if they're public then what's the use of the stupid facebook app...or at least, why would the facebook app require a username *and* password?

what am i missing here?

until they locked it down, the facebook app was the only thing that gave me EXACTLY what i wanted...private access to the entire internet, but opening up my updates to my SELECT FACEBOOK FRIENDS.

argh people are weird.

j(appropos my word verification contains the string "wtf")

brad said...

On facebook, I have quite a few friends. I am not in any network. Anyone who sees my profile is approved by me. I can also control via their privacy settings whether even approved friends can see my twitter updates.

However, few of these friends have twitter accounts. The status updates in facebook provide them all the functionality they need. Why use twitter at all?

And now that I can't keep twitter private, viewable only to those I approve whether through twitter or facebook, who really cares which one, I find myself asking the same question.

Justine said...

It will not work in fact, that is exactly what I think.