Twitter now lets you see the tweets of people who’ve blocked you

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 someone’s blocked you then you can view their tweets by logging out because once you’ve logged out Twitter doesn’t know that you’re the person they’ve blocked and, if their account is public, it will let you see their tweets.

In fact Twitter is so public that there’s probably no need for you to log out. Most of the apps that people use on their phones and tablets (such as Echofon or Janetter) will show their profile to you and desktop apps like Tweetdeck will do the same. You 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 you that you can’t view their tweets or follow them because they’ve blocked you but if you search for their name (from:theirname to see tweets they’ve sent or to:theirname / @theirname to see tweets sent to them, theirname (by itself) will bring up either) you’ll see all of their tweets. The only thing you can’t do is to favourite or RT them (you can copy and paste the text of their 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.

The only way someone can stop someone else from viewing their tweets is to stop everyone (other than approved followers) from viewing their tweets by making their account private.

Some ways you can view people’s tweets even after they’ve blocked you

  1. Search for their 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 they’ve blocked you
  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 been blocked by someone else, the other post is from the perspective of someone who’s done the blocking.

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