Twitter admits that a bug shared private messages of 3 million users to third-party developers

New Delhi: Twitter on Friday said that it has patched a bug that could have shared users’ private messages on large scale with software developers outside of the company. The issue is estimated to have impacted less than 1 per cent of Twitter’s total user base — which includes 335 million monthly active users as of July. The company has hundreds of partner developers. Though the company officials deny any such sharing of private messages, the matter is still under investigation, with claims that the bug did share some 3 million direct messages (DMs) between private users to third-party developers.

With this incident, the company’s stock price hit a day low of $28.49 following the bug’s disclosure. Twitter’s share price closed at $28.50, down more than 4.5 per cent on the day. A company spokeswoman told the press: “We have no evidence to suggest that any data was improperly misused or exploited anywhere. She emphasized that the bug could only occur if a series of complex criteria were met.”

“There’s virtually no possibility that this happened, but we still want to be thorough,” she further added.

Sources in Twitter conclude that the company is still investigating the situation. The company said it has also contacted third-party developers who may have been impacted. The bug impacted user data from May 2017to Sept 10 this year — when it was discovered. Following which, the bug was then fixed within hours.

The spokeswoman also said that the company waited to disclose the bug to ensure that “most accurate information” was revealed.

However, the spokeswoman denied any sharing of private messages between individual users and external software developers.