Twitter is the latest of the networking sites to have found its way into everyday use. However it is important to understand who can view what on Twitter or else some Twitter updates might be posted with regret.
Protecting Your Tweets
The whole point of Twitter is to reach as wide an audience as possible. Therefore, protected tweets cannot be followed by the majority of people, meaning that Tweets must be unprotected to reach as wide an audience as possible. In addition Google does not index protected Tweets so any potential SEO benefit is lost.
In any case, even protected Tweets are visible to those who know a little about how the internet works.
Using XML is just one way…
Example: To see anyone else’s private, friends-only messages, pick one of the user’s friends, and then substitute their user name in this URL:
Blocking someone means that your picture and Tweets will not appear on the blocked party’s profile page, friends time line, badge, or anywhere else. The blocked party will be unable to follow you, although if your account is public they can still view your profile page, but can’t receive your updates in their timeline or on their phone.
When you block somebody, they can still:
• Read your timeline
• Send you @replies, which are public and remain within Twitter search, and will be delivered to you if you have a search for your replies configured on Seesmic Desktop or TweetDeck
• Re-tweet your messages, which can create an impression that you are ‘friends’
When someone follows you on Twitter your Tweets appear on their timeline. As you gain more and more followers you are able to reach an extended audience, an audience that would be difficult to reach by any alternative method.
Even if they are not following you, your tweets are visible to everyone who cares to visit your twitter page. It is like having a phone conversation which is visible to anyone who takes an interest.
It is important to realise that this medium is a public conversation not a private one. Private information should never be posted in updates because it can be seen by anyone and everyone.
Source: World Association of Professional Investigators (2011)