Twitter’s brand new Tip Jar feature has resulted in a wave of backlash after PayPal users quickly discovered that their addresses were being leaked.
Early on May 6, Twitter unveiled its latest innovation. The Tip Jar feature allows users to send money without actually leaving the app. Simply tapping on the new function brings up a variety of different payment options including PayPal, Venmo, and Cash App.
It’s the first of these that caused major headaches mere hours after the feature went live. While users were quick to start sending money around and tipping those with the feature enabled, it came with one huge downside. Addresses were tied to these individual payments.
If you send cash via PayPal, the receiver can then “get your address” if they check the receipt, Rachel Tobac confirmed after some early testing.
While this has long been the way of things with PayPal transactions, Twitter’s new Tip Jar only magnified this bit of information. Without warning, users could accidentally be leaking their own address.
“Twitter needs to educate users who don’t realize what info tip receivers get when using PayPal,” Tobac continued. While the thread quickly went viral with thousands of users chiming in, a Twitter representative soon followed up.
“This is a good catch,” Twitter product lead Kayvon Bekpour said. “We can’t control the revealing of the address on PayPal’s side,” he confirmed. However, Twitter is now adding a “warning” for anyone that chooses to tip through PayPal. In doing so, users down the line will be aware before sending their personal information across.
Shortly after, a spokesperson for PayPal also joined the conversation. Addresses are supposedly only shared if payments are sent under the ‘goods and services category,’ Yahoo reported. Instead, using the ‘friends and family’ option can keep this personal info under wraps.
this is a good catch, thank you. we can't control the revealing of the address on Paypal's side but we will add a warning for people giving tips via Paypal so that they are aware of this.
— Kayvon Beykpour (@kayvz) May 6, 2021
Regardless, PayPal is still jumping on board with Twitter’s decision to add a warning in hopes of raising awareness across the board.
In the meantime, be sure to double-check every step of the process if you’re looking to tip various Twitter users.
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Currently, the new feature is mostly limited to creators, journalists, experts, and nonprofits. However, Twitter confirmed that the Tip Jar will soon be accessible for plenty more accounts.