To some, Twitter is just a place where they get updates about Taylor Swift, BTS, or whoever their celebrity crushes are. But to others, their accounts on the platform serve more important purposes. Businesses have been buying themselves Twitter Followers for years now because the bottom line is the online perception of their brand is worth the money.
For one, some people use the service to connect with their family and friends – especially those who live far away from them. Another portion of the Twitter population is there to fight for climate change, gender equality, and other causes. And the marketers and business people are there to promote their businesses or make a living.
With that said, a Twitter account could be one of a person’s most valuable possessions. It sounds crazy, but it’s the truth. Social media platforms are very handy right now, thanks to all the conveniences and opportunities they offer.
Unfortunately, you may lose access to your Twitter account because of factors not in your control. For instance, your country may block people from accessing the microblogging website. When this happens, there is almost nothing you can do. It is either you accept that your account is no longer accessible. Or, you can pay for VPN services to bypass geo-blocks. While doing the latter is good browsing practice, it is not for everybody.
You can migrate to other platforms when that happens. However, you have to once again start from scratch, which could be quite a hassle. The messages, posts, and followers on Twitter are not there, and you can’t transfer them. On top of that, the people you want to connect to may not be on the new platform you are on. So it is not as simple as it sounds.
Thankfully, you no longer have to pray that your country’s leaders reverse their decisions to ban Twitter. The platform now allows people to access the website using the Tor browser.
Twitter Tor Onion Service
You no longer need to travel to another country to access Twitter if it is banned from your country. (That’s not recommended anyway.) Furthermore, you don’t have to rely on a VPN to access it at home. The platform has launched a Tor onion service.
What does this mean? You can open the website using the Tor browser and do it with anonymity. So, you can bypass the restrictions in blocked regions and use Twitter.
That is good news for people in China, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, and Turkmenistan. Also, that could be handy for Nigerians in case their government bans Twitter again as it did last year. Russians are also among the people who would benefit from this now. There has been a crackdown on social media sites after the invasion of Ukraine. And that prevents them from accessing Twitter.
Tor network routes your traffic through at least three servers before reaching the destination. That allows you to access geo-blocked websites. Thanks to that, you will be able to open and use your Twitter account.
Alec Muffett was the one who made the announcement. He is a cybersecurity expert who worked with Twitter to make the project successful.
“This is probably the most important and long-awaited tweet I’ve ever composed,” he wrote. Muffet then announced the Tor project onion service on behalf of Twitter.
Users can access Twitter using the dedicated onion service link that Muffet provided in his tweet. Enter it on the Tor browser or any browser that the Tor network supports, and you should be good to go.
Twitter has also added Tor to the list of supported browsers on its help page.
The only problem here is that Muffet announced it on Twitter. So, the people who need to hear the news can’t do so because they can’t access Twitter. They also can’t get the dedicated link. Hopefully, the news would reach them with the help of blogs like this one.
What is Tor?
Tor is one of the most popular anonymous web browsers in the world. And it is a good idea to install it on your PC.
Privacy when using the internet was not an issue. People thought that using incognito mode was enough.
However, that changed when people realized the dangers of unsecured browsing. Others can collect your personal information without permission. And they can sell that to other companies so they can target you with ads and whatnots. Aside from that, you become susceptible to hackers and people with malicious intentions.
So, you must take safety precautions. One popular thing to do is use a VPN service. That’s great as that also allows you to access websites otherwise not available in your country.
The thing is that good VPN services are not free. So not ideal when you don’t have money. This is where the Tor Project comes in.
Tor Project is a non-profit organization that focuses on secrecy. It promotes the ability for people to browse the internet and speak out without government surveillance.
The Tor network is Tor Project’s most notable product. It ensures the privacy of users via what’s called “onion routing.” To interact with the Tor network, you need to use the Tor browser – a free-to-use, modified Mozilla Firefox. You only have to install it to use it. So even not tech-savvy people can use it.
How does it work?You most likely
Suppose you have a package you want to send to a friend, but you don’t want them to know it is from you. You can ask person A (who does not know the real recipient) to give the package to person B. Then, person B (who does not know you sent it and who it is for) delivers your package to friend C. Person C (who does not know who sent the package) delivers it to the real recipient.
That’s what happens on the Tor network, and that’s why it is safe.
Now, websites may make an onion service to let Tor browser users access them using a specific URL. That is what Twitter did. And so, people in countries where Twitter is banned can now access it. And those who live in places where it is not banned can also benefit because their privacy is ensured.
Why Use Tor for Twitter?
This is a perfectly fair question, as you clearly aren’t hiding any data from Twitter – especially important ones like your email or phone number. But, what about all the intermediary parties who would otherwise have potential or complete access to all your dirty little fingerprints in between, namely your Twitter account and access to what you look at. Imagine for a second that you are at school, and obviously, you aren’t learning anything, so you decide to use the school computer in front of you to pass the time on Twitter. It won’t take system admins very long to see what you are doing, and without being any big computer wiz, using a service like Tor to access Twitter is likely the most secure way of hiding from your local network and system administrators.
Similar situations abound, most commonly those on the job and using your bosses or company’s computer, you are well aware they are monitoring to some degree all of the websites and computer content that you enjoy – especially on their dime. Using a secure, end-to-end encryption service like Tor allows you to enjoy the wonders of Twitter without worrying about losing your job in the process. What makes using Tor for Twitter different than your basic VPN service?
What’s The Difference Between Tor and VPN for Twitter?
There is a significant difference between what physically happens with your data when you use a VPN compared to when you use Tor. The benefits of a VPN are very real, but only begin with the data that leaves your computer, it does not change the actual data on your computer. The Tor network is different in this way: it protects the local device from visible data in real-time. System admins and software security will have no way of catching or busting you from using their equipment to have fun on Twitter, and this is the main appeal for Twitter adding this new service. We should all thank Twitter for helping us stay nice and distracted as we all work underpaid jobs, but obviously, if our jobs allow us to stay on Twitter, we should consider ourselves the lucky ones!