sorry - i guess i'm confused. we're speaking about the friendships/ exists endpoint? that changelong refers to statuses/friends, statuses/ followers, friends/ids, and followers/ids. sorry for the confusion.

i would suggest creating a ticket on the google code tracker and star it if you're interested in it. that way somebody can take care of it.


Yes, this is still the case. I thought for sure Tweet Thief was missing something obvious, but when I went and tried it, he is 100% correct!

I agree with him that this is a serious bug that needs to be fixed.

Jim Renkel

-----Original Message-----
From: [ ] On Behalf Of Raffi Krikorian
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 14:12
Subject: [twitter-dev] Re: Private user's 'following' information: why am I denied access via API but can get through

is this actually the case?

on the 15th of september, this issue may have been cleared up.

This is an annoying inconsistency with the Twitter API.

If you do an authenticated call to view a user's friends/followers,
and that user is either blocking the authenticated user or is private,
you will not be able to view their friends/followers.  You will get
"not authorized" error. However, if on, you login and try
to do the same thing, you CAN do this.

The solution in the API is to make UNauthenticated calls and you will
be able to view friends/followers without issue.

On Sep 3, 12:37 am, Tweet Thief <> wrote:
Summary Question: "If a user is 'private' on Twitter, why can I see
their followers on (IFF I log in) but not through the


For example, I went to
can see all of her followers, despite the fact that she is "private"

(Note: I can see them on while logged in even when I am
fairly certain that she blocked me before going private.)

curl -D - -s -u user:pass

Results in:

HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden
Status: 403 Forbidden
(irrelevant headers edited)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
 <error>You do not have permission to retrieve following status for
both specified users.</error>

PLEASE NOTE: I tried the same API access from another account I am
99.9999% sure she did NOT block, and it still gives me this
"permission error" so it does NOT appear to have anything to do with
whether or not this account is "blocked" and everything to do with
fact that the account is marked "private"…

I don't understand why the API gives me less access to information
than the website.


ps: @just_me_hi appears to have gone private after I (and others)
called her out for plagiarism in violation of the Twitter TOS. You
see the chain of events here:

Shining a light on users who plagiarize on Twitter

Raffi Krikorian
Twitter Platform Team | @raffi

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