Deleted Twitter messages reappear online without user input

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Several users have noticed over the past week that already deleted tweets suddenly seem to reappear on Twitter. The social medium has not yet responded to the incidents. It is not clear whether this is a limited bug or a more structural problem.

Developer Dick Morrell seems to be the first prominent user to report the issue, so ZDnet noted. Morrell wrote in a post on Twitter counterpart Mastodon: “Last November I deleted all my tweets. I then used Redact to delete all my likes, media and retweets. That totaled 38,000. (…) This morning I suddenly had 34,000 tweets again, presumably restored by Twitter after a server park was restarted.”

A person who says he used to work at Twitter confirms to Morrell that it does indeed seem to be a server problem. When migrating certain servers to another data center, the data may have been accidentally placed online again.

Also The Verge journalist James Vincent says that some of his nearly 5,000 deleted tweets, in this case all retweets, have reappeared online after being deleted in early May. Vincent states that in his case it may be a problem with the TweetDelete.net external deletion tool, although Morrell reports the same problem after using Redact.

For now, Twitter has not provided any clarity about the incidents. Both ZDnet and The Verge have requested a response from the social medium, but were simply sent a poop emoji in response, the standard response to press inquiries, certain Elon Musk in March.

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