Twitter sparks privacy concerns by making all public tweets searchable

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SHAFAQNA – Twitter has sparked privacy concerns with the news that users can now search through every tweet published in the last eight years.

Twitter’s new feature means that users can now search for every public tweet posted since the service first launched in 2006.

Until now, Twitter has used a real-time index that holds and sifts through about a weeks’ worth of recent tweets, putting an emphasis on recency in its search results.

In a blog post, the company said that it has always aimed to let users search through every tweet ever published, which is now capable thanks to the microblogging website’s new index that is more than 100 times larger than that which it used previously.

According to the Twitter, the full search index now includes “roughly half a trillion documents” and “grows by several billion Tweets a week.”

Twitter engineer Yi Zhuang said that the improved and enlarged search required a lot of work.

“Since that first simple tweet over eight years ago, hundreds of billions of tweets have captured everyday human experiences and major historical events,” he wrote.

“Our search engine excelled at surfacing breaking news and events in real time, and our search index infrastructure reflected this strong emphasis on ‘recency’.

“But our long-standing goal has been to let people search through every tweet ever published. We [have] built a search service that efficiently indexes roughly half a trillion documents and serves queries with an average latency of under 100ms.”

While good news for those who want to relieve hashtagged conversations and events – with Twitter using #JapanEarthquake, #Election2012 and #ScotlandDecides as prime examples – it has also concerned many whose embarrassing and drunken tweets are now available for all to see.

Twitter says the change will be rolling out on desktop and mobile app versions of Twitter in the next few days. µ

Source : http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2382483/twitter-sparks-privacy-concerns-by-making-all-public-tweets-searchable

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