Twitter users have raised concerns about the privacy of Circle tweets, which were supposed to be visible only to a specific group of people but were reportedly accessible to the public.
Twitter started testing Circle in May 2022, giving platform users the option to share thoughts with a select group of followers.
Recently users have expressed concerns following reports that a bug allowed Circle tweets to appear in algorithmically generated "for you" feeds of users who were not authorized to view them – not to mention that some of them were not even followers of the private tweets’ authors.
This indicates that despite Twitter’s assurances that only approved Circle members can see the tweets, the content can be potentially seen by unintended audiences.
While there have been previous bug reports related to Circle tweets, such as the green banner occasionally not appearing, none have been as severe as the recent discovery of private tweets being publicly exposed.
Attempts to bring more transparency
At the end of March, the social media giant, in keeping with promises from its CEO Elon Musk, opened up a portion of its source code to the public.
The company published two repositories on GitHub, containing various components that support the platform's functionality, including the algorithm used to control the "for you" timeline.
The company claimed that the move would bring more transparency, while critics accused it of trying to whitewash past accusations of biased content control and mistakenly restricting some Twitter users based on their political and social views.
Since Musk assumed control of Twitter in late October, approximately half of its 7,000 employees, including senior managers and engineers have been dismissed, raising concerns that the platform might become vulnerable to technical outages.
In November, a group of Twitter employees filed a class-action lawsuit in a San Francisco federal court, alleging that the company is in violation of federal and state laws by not providing the mandatory 60-day notice prior to termination.
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