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Twitter has apologised to certain subscribers after it emerged that a bug had exposed a number of protected tweets for years.

It was discovered that the tweets of some Android phone users, who made the decision to keep their accounts private, were actually left open for all to see.

The ‘Protect your Tweets’ feature does exactly what it says on the tin, or so we thought. Instead of hiding these tweets from the public realm the tool encountered an issue.

The bug affected the accounts between November 2014 and last Tuesday, it has now been revealed.

What has Twitter said about the issue?

A spokesman took to the Twitter online help page to clear things up on Thursday January 17.

“We’ve become aware of an issue in Twitter for Android that disabled the “Protect your Tweets” setting if certain account changes were made,” read the statement.

“You may have been impacted by this issue if you had protected Tweets turned on in your settings, used Twitter for Android, and made certain changes to account settings such as changing the email address associated with your account between November 3, 2014, and January 14, 2019.

“People on iOS or the web were not impacted. We fixed the issue on January 14, and we’ll provide updates if other important information becomes available.”

How do you know if you’re affected?

Twitter say that people who are known to be affected by the issue have been informed. Meanwhile, it has also taken steps to turn the “Protect your Tweets” feature back on for them if appropriate.

However, there is still the possibility that other accounts may have been affected. After all, this is why the message was shared on social media.

“We are providing this broader notice through the Twitter Help Center since we can’t confirm every account that may have been impacted,” added the statement.

“We encourage you to review your privacy settings to ensure that your “Protect your Tweets” setting reflects your preferences.

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“We’re very sorry”

Twitter has placed on record an apology to Android users affected by the bug. Also, offers of further help and advice have also been made.

“We recognize and appreciate the trust you place in us, and are committed to earning that trust every day,” continued the statement. “We’re very sorry this happened and we’re conducting a full review to help prevent this from happening again.

“If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact Twitter’s Data Protection Officer, Damien Kieran, by completing the online form located here.”

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