When Twitter victoriously unleashed the previously unharnessed power of the thirst with their new 10,000-character limit for Direct Messages, thirst essayists all across the globe immediately started crafting never-to-be-read and likely-to-be-deleted collections of grammar-free prose. However, the last thing on anyone's mind, thirst essayist or otherwise, was a possible breach of privacy associated with Twitter's space-saving utilization of a URL shortener.
Such a possibility is very likely the only thing on the mind of Wilford Raney, who (alongside "others similarly situated") proposed a class action lawsuit alleging that Twitter's practice of shortening lengthy links directly benefits Twitter while potentially placing users' presumably discreet DM contents in jeopardy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the suit claims that the social media site's use of this algorithm is a violation of both the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and California's privacy law.
"Twitter surreptitiously eavesdrops on its users’ private Direct Message communications," reads the complaint. "As soon as a user sends a Direct Message, Twitter intercepts, reads, and, at times, even alters the message. The end result is that Twitter can negotiate better advertising rates." Though Twitter hasn't commented publicly on the lawsuit, its central themes of supposed manipulation or interception of private customer information has remained a heated source of contention for both sides of the digital privacy argument.