Twitter in chaos: How users can protect their accounts as the platform’s future remains uncertain

Twitter is in chaos. Elon Musk, its new proprietor, has decimated its employees and this week gave these remaining an ultimatum — work grueling hours and be “extraordinarily hardcore ” or go away. Hundreds selected the latter and headed for the door.

There are already indicators that the exodus is stressing the system. Some users seen issues receiving texts to signal in with two-step verification. Test pages are displaying up in the wild. Some users are seeing a renewed barrage of spam in direct messages and on their feed, whereas others complain of receiving new replies to long-deleted tweets and seeing saved tweet drafts disappear. Still, the hen web site is chugging alongside.

Twitter is not going to merely shut down in a single day. But safety specialists warn that the drastic job cuts might open the door to unhealthy actors exploiting the platform’s vulnerabilities and compromising consumer accounts.

While there’s not a lot you can do about Musk’s on-the-fly teardown of one among the world’s key on-line data ecosystems, there are steps to protect your account in case you, like tens of millions of different Twitter users, usually are not able to fly the coop in seek for another.


If you solely use your login and password to signal in to Twitter, it can be crucial, particularly now, so as to add an additional step to the course of so it turns into harder for hackers to entry your account. Twitter has three strategies to select from: textual content message, an authentication app or a safety key. Since there have been some glitches with users not receiving textual content messages to authenticate their accounts, and since it’s usually thought-about a safer possibility, utilizing the authentication app might be your greatest guess. To do that, you will want to obtain one among a variety of out there purposes to your machine. They are free in the Apple or Android app shops and a few examples embrace Google or Microsoft Authenticator, Authy, Duo Mobile and 1Password. Once you will have the app, open the desktop model of Twitter and click on on the icon displaying ellipses in a circle. There, you’ll discover “Settings and privateness” then “Security and account entry” and at last, “Security.” Here, you can choose “Authentication app” and observe the directions to set it up. Twitter will ask you to share your e mail tackle to do that, in case you have not already. Once you’re all set, you can use the auto-generated numeric codes out of your authentication app so as to add an additional layer of safety when logging in to Twitter.


Jane Manchun Wong, an impartial software program and safety researcher in Hong Kong who follows Twitter carefully, recommends revoking permissions to third-party websites and apps by means of your Twitter account. That is as a result of if there’s a potential safety downside with Twitter’s API (or Application Programming Interface, which lets third events entry Twitter information to create apps that work with Twitter, as an illustration) with fewer individuals working at the firm, patching it up will inevitably take longer. To flip off this function, begin in the “Security and account entry” software and go to “Apps and classes.” Here, it is best to discover all the third-party apps which have are related to your Twitter account — together with some you might have linked years in the past that not exist — and also you can revoke entry to every one.


For the nostalgic, for analysis or for the digital hoarders amongst us, the thought of shedding a decade or extra of our tweet historical past is a disaster. Fear not, although. It may take a while, however you can obtain your Twitter “archive” if you want to make sure it’s preserved — simply in case. As with different extra complicated options, this software is just out there on the desktop model of Twitter, in the “Your account” part of settings. You should enter your password once more and undergo two-factor authentication in case you have that arrange. When your archive is able to obtain, you’re going to get a notification on Twitter. Again, you’ll have to obtain it on the desktop model of the web site. While usually this course of takes about 24 hours, it could take longer now. Some users have additionally reported having to attempt greater than as soon as.


While there isn’t a good alternative for Twitter — and naturally Twitter remains to be right here! — many users, particularly these in journalism, tech and academia, are signing up for Mastodon, a beforehand little-known platform that launched in 2016. Mastodon is a decentralized social community. That means it isn’t owned by a single firm or billionaire. Rather, it’s made up of a community of servers, every run independently however in a position to join so individuals on totally different servers can talk. Signing on can be difficult — you will want to choose a “server” to affix, however no matter which one you select, you can nonetheless talk with individuals on different servers, sort of like the way you can e mail individuals out of your Gmail account even when they’re on Outlook or one other e mail server. Once you’re in, you can go to and discover your Twitter following or any Twitter lists you might need to see if in addition they have Mastodon accounts. Many Twitter users are additionally itemizing different social networks and content material data in their bios and even Twitter show names so individuals can get in contact with them — simply in case.

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