Twitter now lets people you’ve blocked see your tweets

Updated March 2016 – official Twitter platforms now make it harder to see tweets in search results but this doesn’t affect third party apps.

Actually ‘now’ is a little bit cheeky of me. It’s always been like that and I’m pretty confident it will always be that way – because Twitter is “default public” by which I mean that you don’t need to be logged in to Twitter to view anyone’s account. If you’ve blocked someone they can view your tweets by logging out because once they’ve logged out Twitter doesn’t know that they’re the person you’ve blocked and, if your account is public, it will let them see your tweets.

In fact Twitter is so public that there’s probably no need for them to log out. Most of the apps that people use on their phones and tablets (such as Echofon or Janetter) will show your profile to people you’ve blocked and desktop apps like Tweetdeck will do the same. People can also search Google to see any public tweets.

Official Twitter platforms such as desktop Twitter (twitter.com on a web browser) will probably tell them that they can’t view your tweets or follow you because you’ve blocked them but if they search for your name (from:yourname to see tweets you’ve sent or to:yourname / @yourname to see tweets sent to you, yourname (by itself) will bring up either) they’ll see all your tweets. The only thing they can’t do is to favourite or RT them (they can copy and paste the text of your tweet and manually retweet it though).

There is no technological solution to this other than for Twitter to make its interface more closed. I strongly suspect that Twitter doesn’t wish to do this.

If you want to stop one particular person from reading your tweets then unfortunately you have to stop everyone (other than approved followers) from reading them and make your account private.

Some ways people can view your tweets even after you’ve blocked them

  1. Search for your name (the desktop version of Twitter is a better way to search) on Twitter or Google
  2. Use a third party app that shows profiles even if you’ve blocked them
  3. Log out from Twitter

Note: this is one of two otherwise identical posts. This one is written from the perspective of someone who’s blocked someone else, the other post is from the perspective of someone who’s been blocked.

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