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Twitter exposed protected Tweets for Android users: How to change your privacy settings

The Protect your Tweets setting was disabled for some Android Twitter users between early November 2014 and mid-January 2019.

Published onJanuary 17, 2019


If you use Twitter for Android and thought your Tweets were only seen by a select few, you might be very much mistaken. The social network has just admitted its “Protect your Tweets” feature was disabled for some Android users, and this might have lasted for over four years.

If you had your protected Tweet settings turned on and happened to change any account settings in the Android app, your messages could have potentially been seen by the public. This issue impacted users between November 3, 2014 and January 14, 2019. Twitter says the bug only showed itself if users changed the email address associated with their account. The company did not say if the bug showed up if any other changes were made. This issue did not affect users on the web or on iOS devices.

So far, Twitter has not stated exactly how many users were affected by this bug. It did, however, inform users of this problem and also re-enabled the “Protect your Tweets” setting. The company said that it was “very sorry this happened” and added it will be conducting a review to prevent an issue like this from happening again.

How to change your Twitter privacy settings

If you’re concerned your account has been affected by this bug, you can follow the instructions below to turn on the “Protect your Tweets” setting.

  • Tap on your account. When the menu appears, tap on the “Settings and privacy” selection near the bottom.
  • Tap on the “Privacy and safety” selection on the next menu.
  • You should see a “Protect your Tweets” section of the menu with a box on the right side. Tap on it to enable this feature.

Assuming Twitter has indeed fixed this disabling bug, turning on “Protect your Tweets” should keep any messages you post from being seen by the general public. With this setting, only your current followers will see your Tweets.

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