When you delete your private direct messages on Twitter, you likely believe that they are deleted for good. As it turns out, this might not be the case. It has recently been discovered that Twitter actually holds onto old and deleted direct messages for years. So you deleting them does nothing but put them out of your reach.
This was initially discovered by security researcher Karan Saini who found that not only does Twitter not delete old direct messages, but also that it keeps them even from accounts that have been deactivated or suspended. So if you had a Twitter account that you deactivated years ago, there is a chance that the direct messages you had associated with it could still be kept.
This seems to go against Twitter’s previous claim where they said that when an account had been deactivated, there will be “a very brief period in which we may be able to access account information, including tweets.”
Twitter has responded to this discovery and a spokesperson said that the company was “looking into this further to ensure we have considered the entire scope of the issue.” It is a big privacy issue since we people assume that delete means delete. Stay tuned. Who knows how Twitter will handle this.