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Inspired by some investigation of some tweets going (temporarily) "missing", for example this discussion:

I hacked together this script that uses txtorcon (and hence Twisted and txsocksx) to download a public Twitter timeline for a given username over several different Tor circuits/exit-nodes and then look for a different list of visible Tweets.

This does not use the Twitter API, it is parsing the HTML and impersonating a Firefox user-agent (probably poorly; just setting User-Agent). Also, it will only see the first 20 tweets in the timeline.

(So far, I have not seen a different list).

Obviously, this is pretty basic. Also, it inspires me to actually do something soon about

Contributions welcome!

If You Read Only One Thing Read This

If you're actively twittering while running this, of course you're going to see the Fearsome Warning that some tweets weren't visible from some exits.

So, don't do that.

Running It

To run this in a virtualenv, do the following:

git clone
cd twitterprobe
virtualenv venv
./venv/bin/pip install -e .
twitterprobe --help

Alternatively, install the dependencies "by hand" and simply run

This will connect to a locally-running system Tor at the usual controller address; mess with the call to build_local_tor_connection if this is not suitable for you. If you want to follow along with the Tor instance to see what it's doing, I recommend using carml monitor from


Investigate which tweets appear in public Twitter timelines



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