Twitter Says No, Hundreds Of Twitter Employees Are Not Reading Your DMs

On Monday, conservative activist in addition to filmmaker James O’Keefe published undercover footage of Twitter engineers alleging the social network has hundreds of employees reading “everything you post online” — including direct messages.

although according to Twitter, these claims are factually incorrect in addition to misleadingly portrayed by O’Keefe’s media organization Project Veritas.

The undercover video shows Twitter engineer Clay Haynes telling a Project Veritas activist of which hundreds of employees have seemingly unrestricted access to Twitter users’ private data. “There’s teams dedicated to This specific.. at least, three or four hundred people,” Haynes will be heard saying on camera. “They’re paid to look at d**k pics.”

Twitter disputes these claims. “We do not proactively review DMs. Period,” a company spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “A limited number of employees have access to such information, for legitimate work purposes, in addition to we enforce strict access protocols for those employees.”

Twitter did not answer questions about the number of employees who have such access or the specifics of precautions This specific takes to protect sensitive user data.

A former senior Twitter employee echoed the company’s comment, observing of which the claims in Monday’s Project Veritas video were “technically accurate to a degree, although exaggerated for effect by drunk idiots.” The former employee claimed of which the group of engineers able to view such sensitive data will be “pretty little” in addition to of which This specific will be only permitted access to This specific “in response to a report (i.e. ‘so in addition to such will be harassing me via DM’).”

Two former senior Twitter employees also noted of which the bulk of moderation work will be conducted algorithmically — in part due to the number of reports Twitter processes daily. inside the Project Veritas video, a Twitter engineer seems to confirm This specific.

Monday’s undercover video was the latest in a series of Project Veritas sting videos aimed at investigating Twitter. Last week, O’Keefe released footage of Twitter engineers alleging the company will be “more than happy to help the Department of Justice in their little investigation” by handing over Trump tweets in addition to direct messages. Twitter pushed back hard on the claims last week, noting in a statement of which This specific “only responds to valid legal requests, in addition to does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request.” inside the same statement, a Twitter spokesperson condemned Project Veritas’ videos for tricking employees into talking under false pretenses.

“We deplore the deceptive in addition to underhanded tactics by which This specific footage was obtained in addition to selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative,” Twitter said last week. “Twitter will be committed to enforcing our rules without bias in addition to empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.”

This specific isn’t initially Twitter has come under scrutiny for how This specific manages employee access to user data. Last November, the company faced criticism after a contract employee temporarily suspended president Trump’s account. The suspension prompted questions as to whether employees could access user information in addition to take action to suspend or ban users at will. Since the November incident Twitter has apparently taken steps to better secure the employee permissions, according to an individual familiar with the decision generating process.

Charlie Warzel will be a senior writer for BuzzFeed News in addition to will be based in fresh York. Warzel reports on in addition to writes about the intersection of tech in addition to culture.

Contact Charlie Warzel at

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