Update August 29th, 2:21AM ET: Cross-posted Tweets on Facebook have been been restored. “A Twitter admin requested their app be deleted, which resulted in content that people had cross-posted from Twitter to Facebook also being temporarily removed from people’s profiles,” Facebook said in a statement to The Verge. “However, we have since restored the past content and it’s now live on people’s profiles.” The headline of this article has been updated, but the original article appears below unchanged.
Facebook appears to have scrubbed all timeline posts that were cross-published from Twitter from its users’ profiles following privacy-minded API restrictions imposed on third-party developers, according to TechCrunch.
These restrictions were put in place in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, which involved the packaging and selling of more than 87 million users’ personal information to a data-mining company, that roiled the company starting back in March. As a result of those changes, with the pertinent one regarding Facebook Lpgin having been announced back on April 4th, some services, Twitter included, can no longer take direct actions on a user’s profile, including posting to the timeline on his or her behalf.
The changes went into effect starting August 1st. But it now appears that not only did Facebook disable the ability to use cross-posting between Twitter and its own social network on that date, but it also forcibly removed all the posts users had made using that feature. For users that may have been deleting their tweets but keeping a repository of the information on Facebook, where it’s more easily kept hidden from the public, it would seem the posts are gone for good.
TechCrunch notes that only a small handful of Facebook’s more than 2 billion users appear to have been affected by the company shutting off cross-posting and removing old posts, with an even smaller group within that minority vocally complaining about it on Twitter. Granted, the feature was designed for less active Facebook users who’d rather just post to one social network rather than manage multiple accounts and deal with the nuances across platforms. So it makes sense that the change isn’t resulting in a more noticeable outcry.
Regardless, Facebook does not appear to have notified users that it would take action in this fashion, and there does not appear to be any public documentation of the company’s plans to remove old posts. We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update this story when we hear back.