Twitter has reportedly disabled feature that allows users to tweet via text message. The decision was made after the feature was misused by hackers to tweet a racial slur, bomb threat, and other crude messages from the account of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey which was reportedly been hacked.
We’re temporarily turning off the ability to Tweet via SMS, or text message, to protect people’s accounts.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) September 4, 2019
The feature still exists, though, allowing you to text a number, such as 40404, and have that message posted to your account.
That can lead to real issues when someone’s phone number is stolen, which is a technique that hackers increasingly use to compromise accounts because phone carriers often don’t take care to properly secure them.
Twitter says it’s making the change to protect people’s accounts. It blamed mobile carriers, saying they need to address vulnerabilities that allow this kind of misuse.
Twitter also said it needed to improve its two-factor authentication system, which relies on text messages as well and could be compromised in the same way.
Twitter says it will soon reactivate the feature in markets that depend on SMS for reliable communication and that it will work on a longer-term strategy for the feature.