Protected accounts and @mentions



I’m investigating a problem in our application whereby we failed to import 11 Tweets from a specific user using the REST api. The user @mentioned one of our clients 12 times, but only the 12th mention (and all subsequent mentions) were successfully imported by our application. All mentions from other users around that period were imported successfully - it’s just this one user that is an issue.

The best guess I have is that the user was using a protected account, but unprotected their account before the 12th mention. I’ve reproduced this situation using a test account and it would produce the behaviour I’m seeing here.

So, the questions I have are:

  1. Is there some way I can confirm my hypothesis, perhaps a log of when an account was protected/unprotected?
  2. Is there any way to get @mentions of my account if the user @mentioning me is a protected account?
  3. Is there some other situation which would correlate with the above behaviour?




Hi @c_oreills - hard question! :blush:

I’d definitely go with your hypothesis as well. We don’t publish a log of when accounts switch state, and if an account is protected and hasn’t given your account access, you wouldn’t see any data. This is a privacy issue, so we have no plans to change these details.

I can’t think of other circumstances that might correlate, and I’m sure it is annoying not to be able to “be sure”, but I’d imagine your guess is very likely correct in this case.


Hi Andy,

Thanks for your response. I know that Gnip has a compliance API that will push you protect/unprotect events about users whose Tweets you consumed - are there no plans to allow access to that stream without the firehose? This info would be really useful.

Alternatively, could you supply extra metadata on the Tweet to note that it was once protected? I understand you don’t necessarily want to publish info on user protects/unprotects but from an API perspective any further confirmation that this was the issue would be much appreciated!

Thanks for your help,



I’m not aware of any plans to change the output from the API here, but these are interesting suggestions. Sorry not to have better news for you!