Twitter has been sliding into your DMs (direct messages between users) or so claims a class action lawsuit reported on by BuzzFeed.
Though the company asserts the privacy of these messages, the suit filed Monday by Wilford Raney and others in federal court in San Francisco alleges that the company "systematically intercepts, reads, and alters the private messages without users’ knowledge or consent," in direct violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California’s privacy law.
Why would Twitter do a thing like that? Wait... to appease advertisers? In the language of the lawsuit:
“Should a user write a Direct Message and include a hyperlink Twitter’s algorithms will read through the Direct Message, identify the hyperlink, and replace it with its own custom link, thereby sending the person clicking on the link to Twitter’s analytics servers before passing them on the original linked-to website... “The end result is that Twitter can negotiate better advertising rates,” the lawsuit reads.”
“We believe these claims are meritless and we intend to fight them,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement offered to BuzzFeed.
To recap: It's one thing to say that Twitter is acting on information from your DMs, and another to allege that they're changing the links in them with an algorithm. But nonetheless, the suit might be seen as the last thing Twitter needs right now while its CEO search drags on and grumblings from Wall Street and Silicon Valley escalate.
By way of example on that, here's the tip of the iceberg on a Tweetstorm from investor Chris Sacca. You can read the rest on Re/code.
Headed into yet another weekend without a permanent Twitter CEO.— Chris Sacca (@sacca) September 11, 2015