‘They were added long before Musk took over’: Netizens fact-check Jack Dorsey over ‘trackers on Twitter’ claim

On Monday (November 7), Twitter founder Jack Dorsey insinuated that the social media platform introduced trackers after Elon Musk took over as the new owner of the company.

In a tweet, he claimed, “These tracking additions when sharing a tweet are a step backwards. Nothing needed after the ‘?’”. The archive of the tweet can be accessed here.

Jack Dorsey suggested that the platform is moving in the wrong direction, with Musk at the helm of its affairs, and how people’s privacy is being compromised with enhanced tracking of Twitter users.

Screengrab of the tweet by Jack Dorsey

Netizens were quick to point out that the trackers existed, much before Elon Musk acquired Twitter. A staff security engineer at Dropbox, April King, re-shared a tweet from April 7 this year wherein she was seen complaining about the tracing tokens.

“Really annoyed that @twitter added what is (presumably) a tracking token every time you share a tweet now. Makes all my messages look long and ugly, or requires a bunch of pointless busywork,” she had tweeted then.

April King pointed out how the trackers were introduced when Jack Dorsey served on the Board of Directors of Twitter Inc. and that they were possibly developed during his tenure as the Chief Executive Officer.

Cybersecurity expert, Joshua Steinman, had written a detailed thread in July about Twitter’s trackers while Elon Musk has acquired the company only recently in October end.

He pointed out how the social media platform was tracking every individual device, sharing a particular tweet. Steinman suggested deleting every tracking parameter that followed the ‘?’ in the tweet to avoid providing information when links are shared offline.

Another Twitter user said, “Not sure when you woke up but those have been there pre-Elon.” It was only then Jack conceded that he was aware of the truth.
Yes I know,” Jack Dorsey confirmed.

Another user emphasised, “Been like this for months. Not a new addition.” Jack Dorsey finally realised that he could not further continue his insinuations about the new Twitter CEO. “Apologies,” he said.

Screengrab of the tweet by Jack Dorsey

The confrontation between Elon Musk and Jack Dorsey over information dissemination on Twitter

On Monday (November 7), Elon Musk informed that his mission is to turn the micro-blogging platform into an ‘accurate source of information.’ The archived version of the tweet can be accessed here.

The new CEO and owner of Twitter wrote, “Twitter needs to become by far the most accurate source of information about the world. That’s our mission.”

When Twitter founder and former CEO, Jack Dorsey, asked who would determine the accuracy of the information disseminated on the social media platform, Musk said, “As judged by the people of Twitter via Community Notes (formerly Birdwatch).”

He also unveiled his plan of democratising journalism and empowering people through widespread verification, which can be obtained by paying $8 in the near future. “Widespread verification will democratize journalism & empower the voice of the people,” Elon Musk announced on Monday.

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