A Twitter bug is restoring deleted tweets and retweets — together with my very own

Earlier this yr on the eighth of Might I deleted all my tweets, slightly below 5,000 of them. I do know the precise day as a result of I tweeted about it.

This morning, although, I found that Twitter has restored a handful of my previous re-tweets; interactions I know I scrubbed from my profile. These re-tweets have been gone. I keep in mind surveying my naked timeline with satisfaction earlier than considering, “nice, time to attract consideration to myself.” However now they’re again. You may see them by scrolling down my timeline previous Might eighth, with much more showing if you choose “tweets with replies.”

I keep in mind deleting all my tweets as a result of I tweeted about it

The re-tweets themselves are utterly run-of-the-mill. There’s a video of children cheering a development employee. A Sopranos meme about Lindy (remember Lindy?). However the oldest dates back to 2020 — a video from the George Floyd protests that I’d have shared whereas they have been taking place. Why on Earth is Twitter restoring three-year-old data? And what does it say concerning the means of the platform’s customers to regulate their very own knowledge? Nothing good, clearly.

I’m not the one one to note deleted tweets resurfacing not too long ago. I solely checked my timeline after seeing a put up on Mastodon (through Ryan Broderick’s newsletter) through which a consumer complained on Might seventeenth that 34,000 of his deleted tweets had been restored.

“Final November I deleted all my Tweets. Each single one. I then ran Redact and deleted all my likes, my media and retweets,” tooted open-source developer Dick Morrell. “Wakened right this moment to seek out 34k of them restored.by [sic] Twitter who presumably introduced a server farm again up. Now re deleting. This exhibits why it’s best to NOT be utilizing Twitter, ever.”

It’s not clear how widespread this downside is perhaps or what the trigger is. It may very well be as a result of software used to delete tweets (although I used TweetDelete.net whereas Morrell stated he used Redact), whereas some have speculated it’s brought on by Twitter’s servers being moved round and unintentionally restoring the information. ZDNET reports Morrell saying that over 400 individuals had advised him they’d had comparable issues, whereas a fast survey of my colleagues at The Verge who’ve mass-deleted tweets obtained blended outcomes. Some stated their previous tweets have been nonetheless gone whereas others stated it appeared like some had come again.

There’s been an uptick in Twitter bugs since Musk’s takeover

No matter’s taking place, it’s one other demonstration of Twitter’s crumbling infrastructure and lack of ability to meet even the fundamental features it guarantees customers. A few of these failings predate Elon Musk’s takeover of the corporate. (See, for instance, the years-long downside of properly deleting direct messages.) However there’s been an uptick in bugs since Musk initiated mass firings, with customers reporting comparable glitches like personal tweets being made public.

For me, the difficulty is trivial. It’s only a few previous retweets. Nevertheless it factors to a bigger downside. Twitter is nonetheless an essential software for activists, whistleblowers, and protestors world wide. There’s a cause Turkey is forcing the corporate to block certain tweets throughout its ongoing elections. Twitter nonetheless issues. However in case you are, say, a political dissenter in an authoritarian nation, then the flexibility to delete your personal tweets may very well be essential to your freedom. For all Musk’s discuss free speech, the corporate doesn’t appear to care about this.

Whereas scripting this story I emailed Twitter’s press line to see if anybody would remark, only for the sake of type. I bought the automated reply the agency now sends to each enquiry, regardless of how well mannered or needful: “💩”. I deleted it.


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