It's not advisable to share your most private and confidential information on your Twitter network.
A number of Twitter users are experiencing a bug with Circle tweets, which are intended for a select group of people, similar to an Instagram Close Friends story, but are showing up on the algorithmically generated For You timeline. This means that private posts may be visible to unintended audiences, potentially leading to uncomfortable situations.
The issue was noticed when a tweet from someone the author followed appeared on their For You timeline, but the retweet button was disabled, despite the person’s account being public. When the tweet was clicked on, it disappeared. The tweeter confirmed that the post was intended for their Circle, which the author was not a part of. While this instance was not a major issue, for users posting sensitive content, such as complaints about work, gossip, or explicit images, this bug could have serious consequences.
Many other users have also reported experiencing this glitch, with Circle tweets appearing on their For You timeline. In most cases, it seems that these tweets are being shown to users who follow the poster but are not a part of their Circle. Some have even reported that their Circle tweets are reaching a wider audience than intended.
According to creator and former Twitch engineer Theo Browne, Twitter appears to be failing to filter out private content before showing it to users. Twitter recently released the source code behind its recommendation algorithm, which uses multiple models to source, rank, and filter tweets. Browne suggested that the sourcing model is surfacing private content, but these tweets are not being adequately filtered out.
Twitter owner Elon Musk has acknowledged that the algorithm's initial release will likely have mistakes but promised to fix them quickly. However, since Twitter's public relations team has been laid off, it is currently not possible to ask for confirmation about the bug.
Twitter Circle has been buggy for several months, but until now, there was no substantial evidence that private Circle posts were regularly breaching containment. While Circle tweets often show up without the green banner indicating that they are only shared with a select audience, they previously only appeared for people in the Circle and were not possible to retweet. The current glitch that exposes private tweets is a more serious issue.
After laying off many engineers, Twitter's code has not been perfect. For example, it is currently possible to see tweets from users who have blocked you, which poses yet another significant privacy concern.