If you are a twitter user, like I am, you probably noticed yesterday afternoon that you were unable to send DMs that included URLs. And, yes, it was annoying, because I like to send DMs with URLs for professional purposes. This is a great tool to swap important information with your twitter connections in a nice behind-the-scenes way (hence, the obvious reason for why it was created).  This caused a major headache for lots of us who use it in that way.  The complaints, according to Matthew Panzarino, reached a high pitch during the evening, right around the time Tech Crunch reported that Twitter told them there was “a ‘technical issue’  . . . behind the problem with DMs.”

As Panzarino notes, “the technical issue may have been referring to the handling of Direct Message spam, not with the sending of URLs.” The problem actually goes back several weeks ago after inside sources at Twitter admitted that there had been countless accounts hacked. In fact, on a personal note, I specifically recall this happening to me. I received a slew of DMs from contacts who don’t normally send me DMs, and – like most of us now know – was leery of the those messages. I didn’t open any of them and immediately notified my contacts that their accounts had most likely been compromised.

Why do hackers send DM spam? They send DM spam with the purpose of retrieving personal information from people and, well, ripping them off.

In this particular case, Panzarino notes, that an executive inside Twitter’s C-suite was spammed via DM.

This is a developing story. 


Panzarino has provided an update on the URLs that were shut down via DMs. Twitter’s Help Center has the following message:

We’re restructuring back-end elements of our direct message system. As a result, users may be unable to send some URLs in direct messages. We apologize for the inconvenience.

We’ll continue to update you on these developments, because this explanation about restructuring back-end elements in their direct message system obviously suggests there are going to be some change. Stay tuned.