New Twitter Cross-Posts To Facebook Have Users Bewildered. (Update: Facebook Bug To Blame)

Twitter is now seeing dozens of tweets a minute from users reporting that their Twitter updates are being posted as automatic updates to their Facebook profile, apparently without their consent. The change seems to have happened very recently, and reactions are ranging from surprise to anger.

At this point it isn’t clear exactly what’s going on — it seems like some users may have installed the official Twitter application at some point and not had it post updates until now. But others are reporting that they’ve never installed a Twitter-related app, which makes the situation all the more confusing. We’re reaching out to Twitter and Facebook to find out what the cause is.

My hunch is that these users have previously installed the official Twitter app on Facebook, which has had problems in the past, and used it to occasionally check their Twitter profiles without realizing that it was also meant to auto-post their tweets to Facebook (a bug may have prevented these posts from ever actually appearing). Now Twitter has fixed the bug, and users don’t know what’s going on. We’ll update as soon we we know the actual cause. Update: A Facebook bug caused this, see below.

It looks like this may have something to do with Facebook ignoring an application’s privacy settings. Under Facebook’s application privacy page, I’ve unchecked the box that gives Twitter the ability to post updates to “Publish recent activity (one line stories) to my wall”. However, the updates are still showing up. We’re seeing similar reports from users with the FriendFeed app installed.

Update 2: Facebook has given us the following statement:

Earlier this evening, a small Facebook bug allowed a handful of apps to publish to the stream on behalf of users who had previously authorized the app. The situation has now been resolved, and all application settings will remain intact for users.