Twitter Halts Username Searching
June 30, 2023
Earlier today, Hg discovered that Twitter has disabled the ability to view and access content on public profiles without being signed into the platform, despite not being publicly announced. No longer can you search as an anonymous bystander and capture open accounts. This limitation is a logistical nightmare for the Open Source, investigative, and intelligence communities alike; with numerous tools and google dorking hacks that once relied on this type of open access no longer viable for investigators, analysts, and other security professionals. Previously, performing a simple “site:twitter.com” search in Google bypassed the need for users to have their own user profile. Now, users will be automatically be re-directed to the sign-in page, or will be prompted to create a profile to make a search via the twitter.com/search-advanced and twitter.com/explore pages. This prohibition has potential to spill over into proprietary tools that gather data through Twitter. Hg has reached out to vendors, and partners of OSMOSIS to ensure that those with enterprise agreements do not rely on a free API, and will continue to pull content from Twitter without issue. Rest assured, Hg will remain on top of this development and any changes that may surface down the line.
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