Arstechnica recently published a report on the difficulties that Twitter users face when attempting to delete their direct messages (DMs). Despite the social media platform’s claims of giving users control over their personal data, deleting DMs appears to be more difficult than expected.
People in Europe, on the other hand, have turned to the continent’s GDPR data laws, which give them control over how their information is collected, stored, and used. This includes the ability to request that data be deleted. Twitter’s response appears to show the platform ignoring detailed requests to delete DMs and instead directing users to generic guidance that does not explain whether Twitter deletes DMs from its servers.
“On Twitter, the delete button does not do what users think it does,” says Michael Veale, an associate professor focusing on digital rights and regulation in the Faculty of Laws at University College London. “If you delete your direct messages within the app or on the website, it does not remove them from Twitter’s server,” Veale says.
According to the report, when a user deletes a DM, it only disappears from the user’s view, not the recipient. This means that even if the sender has deleted the DM, the recipient can still access it.
The sources for this piece include an article in ArsTechnica.