Twitter Direct Messages aren’t private – just direct.
In a new blog post titled “Six things you didn’t know about Twitter direct messaging” @timwhitlock has very helpfully highlighted a few often overlooked facts about the world’s favourite Micro-blogging site’s Direct Messaging system. The most surprising of which is that DMs you send over Twitter are not private, they are simply direct.
As he points out, all third party applications you authorise can read your DMs. Once you authorise a tool that’s it – they’ve got access until you revoke permissions. That means any phone numbers, email addresses, passwords or even account information that you might have shared by DM can be seen and you’ve just got to trust the 3rd party developer to treat your privacy with some level of respect.
While not necessarily a problem in and of itself it’s likely to come as a surprise to a great many web users who are used to having popular web services manage privacy features that are tougher to crack and Tim’s post isn’t all bad news either. He’s very kindly come up with a solution for concerned users by creating a tool for backing up and then deleting Twitter DMs – the Twitter DM Cleaner.
Once authorised (irony noted) the tool presents you with two functions; backup and Delete. Backing up has the tool email you yourt hreaded message conversations and the Delete… well it’s an all or nothing affair so be sure you really want to do it first!
It also comes with a helpful reminder to regularly go through your account settings and revoke permission from apps you no longer want to use, you can do that in your connection settings here.