Twitter’s new short-lived tweets, known as Fleets, are supposed to last for only 24 hours. But a new bug was causing fleets to not totally disappear, remaining accessible long after 24hrs had expired.
First reported by TechCrunch, this bug allows fleets to be viewed and downloaded by other users, but without notifying the fleet’s author. The implication is that this bug could be abused to archive a user’s fleets after they expire.
With the use of an app that’s designed to interact with Twitter’s back-end systems via its developer API. What returned was a list of fleets from the server. Each fleet had its own direct URL, which when opened in a browser would load the fleet as an image or a video. But even after the 24 hours expired, the server would still return links to fleets that had already disappeared from view in the Twitter app.
According to TechCrunch, a Twitter spokesperson said a fix was on the way. “We’re aware of a bug accessible through a technical workaround where some Fleets media URLs may be accessible after 24 hours. We are working on a fix that should be rolled out shortly.”
Twitter admits that the fix means that fleets should now expire properly, although it said it won’t delete the fleet from its servers for up to 30 days — and that it may hold onto fleets for longer if they violate its rules.
Fleets are essentially twitters version of Instagram or Snapchat stories. They allow mobile Twitter users to share text, videos, images, or other tweets within a certain time frame. They’re not meant to be liked nor are they retweetable, but you can reply to one by tapping on it, which sends a direct message to the fleet’s creator.
With most fleets, users can see who has viewed it, but there’s currently no way to know whether someone has taken a screenshot of your fleet.