There is a lawsuit filed again Twitter Inc. in a San Francisco federal court that claims that the direct messaging platform is not keeping the messages of users as private as it claims to be. This lawsuit was filed by Wilford Raney, who alleges that Twitter is not as private as it makes one believe.
As soon as the user sends a direct message to his friends or other Twitter members, the company reads the message and alters it sometimes. This is what is claimed in the lawsuit. Raney has taken the issue of Twitter’s handling of hyperlinks sent through direct message specifically and mentioned it in the lawsuit.
The plaintiff claims in his lawsuit that, for example, a hyperlink sent to the New York Times story through direct message is accessed by Twitter and changes the link using a link shortening tool before it reaches the intended recipient. Twitter wants to make every tweet on its platform just 140 characters long and hence link sorters are used commonly. The character constraint on Twitter direct messaging platform was done away with by the company for direct messages last month.
The plaintiff in his claim said that Twitter’s algorithm will go through the direct message, check out the hyperlink in the message and replace it with its own custom link. The recipient when he clicks this link will be sent to analytic servers of twitter before he or she is led to the original linked website sent by the sender.
The lawsuit alleges that Twitter Inc. is doing all this in order to enjoy better advertising revenues. By using the link shortening tool, it will be able to show publishers how much of the traffic it drives back to the site.
The lawsuit says that this interference by Twitter is a violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California’s privacy law.
A Twitter spokesperson has said that the claims made in the lawsuit are baseless and Twitter intends to fight them. The lawsuit was filed by the Edelson PC law firm for the plaintiff Texas resident Wilford Raney. The firm will be representing two classes: Twitter users who have sent as well as received the direct messages. The lawsuit claims that it wants $100 a day for every user whose privacy has been violated.
The lawsuit aims to represent every Twitter user in the U.S. who has sent a direct message as well as those who have received such messages.