Twitter updating Facebook status without permission

Update: For the latest information, please read UPDATE: Facebook at fault for unauthorized link with Twitter account.

[If Facebook suddenly started publishing your tweets, go into Facebook and REMOVE or BLOCK the Twitter application. That’s currently the only fix.]

Just an hour ago, I got a notification that someone had commented on my Facebook status so I went to check it out. To my utter confusion, my status was actually a tweet that I had sent moments earlier.

I have never authorized Twitter to update my Facebook status, but it just started happening out of nowhere. I hadn’t changed any settings, added any applications, or even touched Facebook all day.

When I looked at my Facebook wall, I saw that these tweets were actually somehow being routed through FriendFeed. I hardly ever use FriendFeed, but I do have some of my social networking profiles linked there so I assumed that perhaps they had just changed a setting.

After looking at my FriendFeed profile I discovered that I don’t even have my Facebook profile linked to my FriendFeed account, nor do I have the FriendFeed app installed on Facebook, so that wasn’t the culprit.

Despite my never linking FriendFeed and Facebook in any way, I found that as I rolled over the tweet on my Facebook wall, I was somehow able to unauthorize FriendFeed from publishing to Facebook. Once I changed that setting I was sure I’d fixed it.

But I hadn’t! Now the tweets were still being published to Facebook, but this time it wasn’t through FriendFeed — it was just straight from Twitter.

After scouring the Twitter website for answers, I couldn’t find anything that would have caused this sudden change. The new Connections tab in Settings doesn’t list Facebook, so there was nothing I could do there.

I went back into Facebook and did the last thing I could possibly think of: I found the Twitter app within Facebook (which I had installed but without authorization for Facebook to publish tweets) and REMOVED the Twitter application. Problem solved.

It seems a whole bunch of people are now facing this problem and are really unhappy about it.

Whether it’s Facebook’s fault, Twitter’s fault or FriendFeed’s fault, it’s a giant user experience failure to change people’s settings without their consent, and then make it impossible to undo.

Hopefully the mystery will be solved soon. In the meantime, for those of you whose Twitter account suddenly linked to your Facebook status and you’re pissed off about it, just REMOVE or BLOCK the Twitter app within Facebook and that should do the trick.

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  1. says

    I nixed the twitter app on facebook a while ago and started using selective twitter – or something. So that my tweets are only posted to FB if I tag them #fb.
    Works pretty well…

  2. says

    @steveames, please elaborate. I have had headaches out the yin yang with the binary way twitter pushes to my FB account. Either it's on (the twitter app installed on FB and all tweets are pushed to FB) or it's off (the twitter app is UNINSTALLED on FB and nothing is pushed to FB.) I have never been able to figure out a selective posting option. Could you pretty please look up the name of the app/point me to where to find it (find it through fb?) Would be eternally grateful.

    And Whitney – thanks for this post, I'm sure it'll get a lot of disgruntled tweeters through in the next 24 hrs if this thing doesn't get repaired *somewhere* in the stream.

  3. meredithgould says

    I use the selective update app on FB for Twitter tweets and that seems to be working well. Haven't experienced what you have…hope I don't!

  4. says

    I suspect that we'll find this whole mess has something to do with the Tweet Your Senator campaign. The campaign ran Facebook Ads that when you clicked on the ad, it populated your Twitter Update box with a message to your very own senator (this is from Facebook now, not from the Tweet Your Senator website). I wondered how in the world Facebook knew how to compose a tweet for me from just an ad on Facebook. I knew a Facebook co-founded helped with the presidential campaign. I wonder if he had something to do with this? (It was a very, very cool campaign though.)

  5. says

    Ah, for the first week or so, the Selective Twitter app was not so great, either – when I appended a tweet w/the #FB hashtag, my Tweets would show up on Facebook w/a link that said “Follow me on Twitter @jayeffvee.”

    I don't *want* all my family and all my FB people following me on Twitter; god forbid. So I stopped using Selective Twitter immediately and was all ready to voice my displeasure when that “feature” just all of a sudden went away.

    I don't know what happened, but phew! Yay!

  6. says

    I found a way to stop the updates with out unistalling the app in facebook. Go to the app page – On the top right there is a settings link. If you click there you should see a twitter option.

    Once in the settings box I unchecked the box that allowed twitter to update my wall. Seems to have worked.

  7. says

    Thank you very much for all this info, I am still a techno virgin so I have been searching for ages and then found your blog.

    Much appreciated.

  8. Lynn says

    I've had a similar problem on Facebook, but in regards to PhotoBucket uploads. I did share photos out of a PhotoBucket album with my Facebook twice. Not long after the second time I started seeing status updates that I had uploaded a photo to PhotoBucket repeatedly. The problem is that I had not uploaded any photos to either application. Someone else's photo was being set to my Facebook feed with my name on it. I've since bocked/deleted the PhotoBucket application in Facebook and even gone so far as to delete the PhotoBucket account to get rid of all the sharing credentials. Unfortunately, that hasn't worked and the status updates are still happening. I think the security breach is on Facebook.

  9. ATObi says

    You think that is crazy. My CNN account was magically linked to my FB account. They have two completely different email accounts, names and photos and had no intention of linking the two accounts. Well guess what… Not anymore. My FB photo became my CNN account photo. I never authorized that! I tried like hell to disconnect FB from my CNN, but to no avail. Every time I thought I had cut the link I would change my FB photo and my CNN photo would follow even tho it showed that the two accounts were no linked. Can anyone say SHADY AS HELL! I just had to delete my FB account to actually disconnect the link and get my face off my CNN account.


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