Elon Musk, Twitter’s new CEO, has previously said that he wants to enhance the platform’s direct messaging function. In a recent meeting with Twitter staff, he outlined what’s coming to the social network’s direct messages (DMs).
According to a recording of the meeting acquired by The Verge, the presentation was dubbed “Twitter 2.0” and took place on Monday at the company’s San Francisco headquarters. Musk informed staff that Twitter would be working on encrypted direct messaging, phone conversations, and video chats inside direct messages.
We want users to be able to connect without worrying about their privacy, [or] without worrying about a data breach at Twitter causing all of their DMs to be exposed on the web, or worrying that someone at Twitter may be eavesdropping on their DMs. That’s clearly not going to go well, and it’s happened before.
Musk is correct about increasing the safety of DMs. In 2018, an unspecified amount of direct messages (DMs) between consumers and companies were exposed to the internet for more than a year. Furthermore, the US government accused an ex-Twitter employee of inappropriately obtaining user data on behalf of Saudi Arabia. It is unknown how these DMs were utilized.
Musk believes that no one, even with a pistol to their head, should be allowed to peek at someone’s DMs.
If someone holds a gun to my head, I shouldn’t be able to peek at anyone’s DMs.
However, this isn’t the first time Twitter has worked on DM encryption. The project has begun and stopped multiple times in the past, but Musk believes that encryption should be a primary priority in his Twitter 2.0 agenda.
He also lauded Signal as a secure messaging service and contacted its creator, who is now “possibly prepared to assist out” with Twitter’s DM encryption.