Thanks to a bug, Twitter Fleets didn't actually expire after 24 hours

Yolanda Curtis
November 24, 2020

According to Tech CrunchThe error was detected using an app created to communicate with Twitter's back-end system using Twitter's Developer API.

This issue seems to be linked to a developer app that can access Twitter's back-end system, allowing anyone to clear tweets from public accounts via the direct URL link. We checked that we could still load fleets from their direct URLs even after they expire. This is all after 24 hours and when these Fleets have disappeared from the Twitter app.

"We updated our systems today to require an authenticated session before requesting Fleets metadata, to add more friction to use these APIs", said Twitter Support.

The bug means you won't be notified if your fleets are viewed and downloaded. The bug that was causing Fleets to not delete properly, leaving them viewable for more than 24 hours, has been reportedly acknowledged by Twitter. This bug lets anyone access, and download your Fleets without ever alerting you that your Fleet has been read by someone, which is not normal because normally when someone checks out your Fleets, you get a "read" notification for that. Much like stories on Instagram or Facebook, fleets are located at the top of the Twitter timeline. A Twitter spokesperson said the fix should be "rolling out shortly". Officials of Twitter informed that this API is not able to revert URLs that are required for the Twitter Fleets which exist beyond 24 hours.

Suppose you posted a Fleet a day ago.

Apart from this, other concerns regarding Fleets were that it could be viewed without logging into the app and that people could view them without their profile appearing in the "Seen by" list.

Twitter has addressed the problem, sharing that once it is fixed users will not have the ability to access Fleets.

On the other hand, Twitter withholds a copy of the Fleet even after expiry in order for the users to make a case for themselves in times of dispute and other needs. If there is a violation of policies, then the servers may hold those Fleets for a longer period.

However, the company stated that it did not remove these posts from its servers for up to 30 days and that the content would last longer if it violated its rules.

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