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Facebook restores deleted cross-posts from Twitter

Tweets vanished from timelines after Twitter asked for the app to be deleted, Facebook says.

Social Media Data Security
A Twitter logo is seen on a portable device in this photo illustration
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook has restored status updates deleted from users' timelines originating as cross-posts from Twitter, saying a Twitter request was responsible for the vanishing act.

Facebook users have long been able link their Facebook and Twitter accounts, allowing their tweets to automatically be posted to their Facebook timelines. But in the past week, Facebook users who relied on this connection have discovered their tweets have disappeared from Facebook.

The disappearance of the tweets from Facebook, reported earlier by TechCrunch, was thought to be linked to recent API restrictions the social media giant placed on third-party developers to allay users' privacy concerns. The restrictions were put in place after a scandal in which Facebook data on as many as 87 million people was improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy with ties to the Trump presidential campaign. The scandal raised questions about Facebook's handling of user data and whether the company is doing enough to protect it.

But this episode turned out to be rooted in Twitter and not Facebook's crackdown on APIs.

"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," a Facebook spokesperson said. "However, we have since restored the past content and it's now live on people's profiles."

Facebook users learned earlier this month that automatic cross-posting would no longer occur as a result of the new restrictions, but the tweets' disappearance came as a shock to many.

As TechCrunch pointed out, only a fraction of Facebook's billions of users appear to be affected by the move, as the feature was mainly used by users who wanted the convenience of posting messages to multiple social networks without having to actively maintain a Facebook account.

Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

First published Aug. 28, 7:05 p.m. PT.
Update, 10:40 p.m.: Adds details about request for deletion.

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