While sharing a photo concerning the ill-treatment by Twitter staff of the Libs of TikTok account, a tab on the left showed that Twitter employees, in reviewing a users account, have access to that user's direct messages.
Jack Posobiec was the first to notice this, saying "Look closely at the @libsoftiktok screenshot posted from the Twitter Files. There is a ‘Direct Messages’ tab."
"So they’re reading all our dms just as we all suspected," Libs of TikTok responded.
Marina Medvin brought it to Elon Musk's attention, who replied that "DMs should be encrypted, so that it is impossible for anyone at Twitter to see the public’s DMs, just as is the case with Signal or iMessage."
However, in 2019, former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey made an appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, along with Vijaya Gadde who was the general counsel and the head of legal, policy, and trust at Twitter. Tim Pool and Rogan asked about how Twitter moderates content.
"We do look at coordination of accounts," Dorsey said.
Rogan asked Dorsey if the company reads direct messages.
"We don't read direct messages," Dorsey said.
Gadde jumped in, saying "We don't read direct messages unless someone reports a direct message to us that they have received."
"So you read their direct message that they send to you?" Rogan asked.
"So if you have a direct message and someone says something terrible, and then like you receive a death threat and you report that to us, then we would read it because you reported it to us," Gadde said.
"Does anyone in the company have access to direct mesages other than that?" Rogan asked.
"Um, only in the context, again, of reviewing reports that we received," Gadde said.
"Other than that they're not accessible?" Rogan asked.
"Um, not to my knowledge. I don't know what you mean," Gadde said with a confused look on her face. "We're not reading them, we're not reading them."
Rogan then referenced Tim Pool, who was on the show as well to question Dorsey and Gadde over the suppression of the "learn to code" meme.
"Is it possible that someone could go into Tim's direct messages and just read his direct messages?" Rogan asked.
"I don't think so," Gadde said.
Rogan then tried to understand how, as Dorsey had said, "coordination of accounts" could be looked at to discern violations of terms of service if direct messages were not necessarily being read.
"If we do see those chain of replies," Dorsey said, "that's coordination."
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