A number of Twitter users have been complaining that tweets that were retweeted by people they don’t follow are now showing in their timeline. The issue, thankfully, is not related to a new Twitter algorithm or recommendation system, as some had feared. Instead, the company confirmed that a bug affecting Android users was mislabeling the “social proof” tag on Retweets.
This is the part of the Retweet that tells you who, among the people you already do follow, had retweeted the post in question.
The company says that the social proof label is wrong, so the Android users were seeing tweets that looked like they had been retweeted by someone they don’t know.
Above: some example complaints
Twitter says the Retweets that showed up were actually tweeted by someone the people did knew, but their social proof label was wrong, which made them seem out of place. Its engineers are aware of the problem and are working to fix this now. The bug has been live for a few days, Twitter also confirmed.
The company’s @TwitterSupport account had not yet replied to those asking about this problem, which may have led to some user confusion.
After all, Twitter has been known to put what some consider extraneous information in the timeline — like posts that show you when many people you follow have now all followed another Twitter user, or posts that tell you that several people have shared the same link, for example. But even in those cases, that was in-network activity — not something like putting random retweets in your main feed.
Until the bug is fixed, Twitter users who don’t like the content of the seemingly random retweets can tap on the down arrow on the right side of the tweet to tell Twitter it wants to see less content like this.