back to article Twitter takes away twits' ability to limit ad data sharing – after telling investors its own privacy settings hurt revenue

On Wednesday, Twitter users, except those in Europe and the UK, lost the ability to prevent the micro-blogging biz from sharing mobile ad measurement data with its analytics and advertising partners. At the same time, tweeters have gained the ability to deny Facebook and Google access to device-level data, such as IP addresses …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You are the Product

    (GDPR permitting)

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    You do have to wonder who sat down one day and thought

    Hmm, I want to shift adverts, how can I write an application that will do it?

    I hear the argument about 'the users expect adverts' and 'the users won't pay for this product' but have any of them actually tried just asking for a tenner a year for an advert free slurp free product? I'm not just looking at Twitter - really, any of the social media crowd are basically doing nothing more than offering clickbait for eyeballs... do they have so little faith in their own products that they think them unworthy of purchase?

    1. Sampler

      Re: You do have to wonder who sat down one day and thought

      Facebook should, the user end is shoddy as, and that new beta look and feel? I would not pay good money for that.

      But then, I'm not the customer.

      Not really used my twitter account for a few years, but, think that's the push to unsub.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: You do have to wonder who sat down one day and thought

      One of the web forums I frequent has a donation link buried in a forgotten post that ties directly into their hosting account (Dreamhost).

      PayPal in some dosh as available/if you care to, and it keeps the lights on, no adverts, and everyone likes it that way.

      I tend to do a yearly donation to help keep my extensive build logs online.

      Admittedly a small site with only a few dozen active users, but it is possible.

  3. JohnMurray

    I got so fed-up with the endless adverts, I blocked them. After a month of blocking every one, twitter suspended my account! No great loss.....

    1. Claverhouse Silver badge

      I block adverts with Steven Black's Hosts file; minus the censorship options, fakenews & social, and I use Twitter frequently * --- never had a any adverse consequence from the firm.

      With the social option, many Twitter functions were affected until I obviated that option, but I'm sure Twitter never noticed. I really didn't know Twitter has advertisements. Just like a number of social sites. I'm not living in 1998.


      * I only use it to 'follow' various manga artists, etc., as a way of thanking them; not for any serious reading, such as reading recent American presidents' dumb thoughts. Or those of our appalling own MPs.

  4. Dinanziame Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    I do wonder whether there is a measurable effect to this data sharing or not... In the first place, there are good chance that this privacy option they just removed was off by default, which means the vast majority of users did not turn it on.

    I'd be extremely surprised if this materially moved Twitter's revenue in any way.

  5. Martin an gof Silver badge

    The first hit is free

    Twitter has probably realised that the drug-pushers' tactic of free samples to get people hooked then charging through the nose (sorry) doesn't work where new suppliers are popping up all the time, all with similar free offerings. The business won't survive if it can't create revenue and as people are highly unlikely to pay for Twitter it has to be funded by other means.

    Can any of you point to anyone under 25 who uses Twitter as religiously as an under 25 year-old of five years ago? I have never subscribed myself but from the tweets I am occasionally required to read (Twitter still has a 'non-Javascript' web page!) it seems to me that it's mostly used by corporates and celebrities as an easily-accessible message board.

    I wouldn't let him tweet or Insta or Watts anyway, but my eldest mainly communicates with his peers by plain old-fashioned text message or closed Snapchat group. People who need to communicate with us in a manner not appropriate to a text message, email or - you know - a phone call - use Signal.

    Who remembers Geocities, Friends Reunited or MySpace these days? Who still regularly posts updates to their non-corporate Facebook front page? Twitter may not disappear but I suspect its days of being the ubiquitous channel for shortform communication between 'ordinary' folk are over.

    I think slightly different rules apply to YouTube due to the sheer quantity of hardware required to make the thing work making breaking into that market extremely expensive but a mainly text-based service these days doesn't require CERN levels of investment.

    Another one will be along in a minute.


    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The first hit is free

      "communicates with his peers by plain old-fashioned text message"

      Does Twitter still you send and receive Tweets via SMS like it did when it first started?

    2. Claverhouse Silver badge

      Re: The first hit is free

      Who remembers Geocities, Friends Reunited or MySpace these days? Who still regularly posts updates to their non-corporate Facebook front page?

      "Where is Bohun, where's Mowbray, where's Mortimer ? Nay, which is more and most of all, where is Plantagenet ? They are entombed in the urns and sepulchres of mortality."

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The first hit is free

      Re Friends Reunited

      I don't think i'll ever be allowed to forget Friends Reunited.

  6. davenewman

    I checked on my UK account. They have changed the wording to additional information. But my choice of turning off all personalisation and data sharing still stands.

  7. stuartnz
    Thumb Down

    A lucky escape

    After years of active Twitter use from 2009, I nuked my account late last year ( a yr after axing FB and a couple of months before ditching Insta), and my new account follows only 7, 5 of whom are NZ meteorological and emergency management accounts. The account is linked to a throwaway email, and because it was created so long after escaping FB, Twitter's Scylla ought not have fed my (largely faux) data to THAT Charybdis. The sheer brazenness of the Twitter announcement makes me glad my footprint there is now only a toeprint.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A lucky escape

      Do you want a cookie for even having used Twitter at all? Get this through your dense skull: you get no congratulations for having only used it 'a bit'. You're still part of the problem.

      And here you are, mewling on as if you've achieved something of worth!

      1. stuartnz

        Re: A lucky escape

        No mewling, nor any seeking of congratulations. I meant just what I said, that I feel I've had a lucky escape in minimising my use of Twitter before its data theft reached new depths. I'm not sure what "problem" my almost non-existent and passive use is part of, but congratulations on being right about one thing - my skull really IS unusually dense, in a very literal sense, confirmed medically at the age of 12 and again some 40 years later. Well done you for divining that trivium. Noho ora mai.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A lucky escape

          I think what the other ac above means is that to reduce your footprint you are hopefully using a combination of tor / VPN on your locked down (boot from CD-ROM) device, and create a new twit account using burner credentials if you feel a need to post, e.g. realDT8063996 if it's not already taken.

          If you follow those guidelines then you might find you're not tracked quite as much.

          In the meantime, never use the app. N e v e r.

          1. stuartnz

            Re: A lucky escape

            You offered practical, helpful advice, delivered without irrelevant ad hominem slurs - not sure that IS what the original AC meant, tbh. :)

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Just use Brave

    No adverts on Brave. Add NoScript to it and you're golden.

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Just use Brave

      "Add NoScript to it and you're golden" but of then course the site will not work as it's a javascript behemoth. No loss really though ...

      The thing that really does piss me off though is the huge upsurge in static page sites that depend entirely on scripting. Typical is the National Cyber Security Centre site that (the last time I looked) won't even render a landing page unless scripting is enabled. Given their notional function they should know better. Security 101 "don't download and execute untrusted code".

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Just use Brave

        And many of those script-only sites don't even have a fallback message asking you turn on scripting. It's literally just a blank page. Total fail AFAIC.

    2. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

      Re: Just use Brave

      Firefox with Privacy Badger and uBlock Origin also results in never seeing ads. Not sure what they would measure with that, to be honest. Another upside is that the combo works on mobiles/tablets too

  9. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Social network feeding grounds

    If you are signed up on any social networks then you are just fish on a hook waiting to be cooked and sold.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Targeted advertising

    I'm trying to remember the last time I (intentionally) clicked an internet ad. Hmm. Let's see. Um... You know, I'm having trouble coming up with an example.

    I'm not sure having the ads "targeted" is going to help!

    1. Rich 2 Silver badge

      Re: Targeted advertising

      Unfortunately, it is this very simple concept that you highlight that the likes of faecesbook, googlies, and twattripe don’t get (or more likely choose to ignore)

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