Up until about an hour ago, it had been more than four weeks since Twitter sent out any notifications over its official @Safety account. "DMs longer than 140 chars sent via 'd username' on UberSocial for Blackberry/iPhone & Twidroyd are currently visible publicly [1/2]," the account warned in the first part of a two-part message. "We're working w/the dev to bring the apps into compliance w/our privacy policies; meanwhile, please be aware of this vulnerability. [2/2]"
In other words, any direct messages -- notes intended for one recipient and one repicient only -- longer than the standard 140-character limit sent using the UberSocial client could be public and visible to everyone.
This isn't the first time that UberSocial has caused problems. UberSocial, or UberTwitter as it was known until about a month and a half ago, was suspended by Twitter in mid-February after it received complaints about trademark infringement and privacy concerns.
"Early Friday morning, Twitter shut off access to its service by several of our Twitter client applications...," UberMedia CEO Bill Gross said in a statement released at the time of suspension. "Twitter then notified us that they believed we were in violation of several provisions of their terms of service." UberTwitter changed its name and -- poof! -- was back in service, even though the complaints were about more than just appropriating the Twitter name.
"[W]e suspended several applications ... which violated Twitter policies and trademarks in a variety of ways," Twitter spokeswman Carolyn Penner told TechCrunch. "These violations include, but aren't limited to, a privacy issue with private Direct Messages longer than 140 characters, trademark infringement, and changing the content of users' Tweets in order to make money."
One, two, three strikes. UberSocial bills itself as a "key communications tool," but there are several other free Twitter clients that work across platforms, offer the same or similar features and haven't been suspended for violating terms of service. It's recommended that UberTwitter or UberSocial users find another application for reading and sending their micro-notes.