Tweetropy FAQ

Answers to questions you may (or may not) have about Tweetropy.

What is Tweetropy about?

Oops, looks like you missed something. See the About page.

Why "Tweetropy"?

After considering many combinations of "tweet" or "twitt" and words like "scramble", "encode", "encrypt", etc. I finally settled on "tweetropy", because it seemed to represent the fusion of Twitter's "tweets" and "entropy" that this site offers. Also, this may not be the last Twitter-themed tool I create, so a name that sounded a little less specific than "Tweetcryptor" could encompass those new (currently nonexistent) future projects. Like the name? Hate it? Let me know.

Where did the idea for Tweetropy come from?

The idea of Tweetropy came to me when I considered sending some messages through Twitter that I didn't want absolutely everyone to see - but I didn't want to direct message my friends one-by-one either. I thought about the secret decoder rings some kids used to get in their breakfast cereal, and how I used to solve cryptograms with my mother. I fondly remembered the joys of finally cracking the code.

I also imagined what it might be like to see a cryptic message pop up in a friend's feed. I thought about the amusement it might bring to the people that had the key to decode it, and mystery to those who don't.

If Twitter makes you feel connected to the world, then Tweetropy could make you feel even closer. Like the feeling you get when you and someone else share a secret (or an inside-joke) that other people around you know is being told, but don't know what it is.

In the end, Tweetropy didn't seem hard to create and I hadn't seen anything else like it yet, so I figure why not make it myself? I created the site on April 30th (coincidentally my Mother's birthday).

What algorithm does Tweetropy use?

By design, the encoding algorithm Tweetropy uses is very simple. The intent is to output something that still looks like a real sentence (punctuation and capitalization is kept intact etc.), but is not human readable. Also, the algorithm was setup to be reversible - that is if you input the scrambled text back into the same tool using the right key it would output the original message. That way you wouldn't need a separate encoder and decoder.

That said, the algorithm is easy to crack without much trouble. I know. As far as encryption goes it's really more like a toy and just for fun. Different keys, although unlikely, may be able to unscramble the same message. So if someone really wants to read your Tweetropy-ized posts, with enough work they will be able to. The idea was really just to make it difficult for the wrong people to read your messages compared to reading it straight off the page.

So please, do us both a favor and don't use Tweetropy for anything confidential or truly private. One might argue you shouldn't be posting those kinds of things on the internet in the first place :-).

Why does Tweetropy not scramble parts of my message?

Since Tweetropy was designed with Twitter in mind, there are certain behaviors that cater to that purpose. Words that have an "@" in front of them (Twitter replies), pass through unencoded. That way if you are directing a secret message to another Twitter user it will actually get to them, and not whoever "@kzfoltb" might be.

Second, since a lot of tweets include links, the prefixes "http://" and "http://www" also pass through unencoded. That's simply to make it slightly harder to reverse engineer an encoded message (since it gives away three or four of the letters). That said, the link itself will be scrambled and most likely unusable. In the incredibly unlikely event that Tweetropy generates a valid link, I apologize in advance for the unholy depths of the internet you may have just witnessed.

Is Tweetropy affiliated with Twitter in any way?

Nope. Though it was designed with Twitter users in mind, Tweetropy is 100% independent.

Can you use Tweetropy for something other than Twitter?

Of course! I'm compiling a list of other uses over here. If you have some suggestions, feel free to let me know.

Wanna hear my comments and suggestions?

I sure do! If you have any feedback, fun stories of how Tweetropy is working for you, or other comments please contact me.

And if you decide to send me your message in Tweetropy-ized form, please be sure to provide your key too :-).

Any updates coming to Tweetropy? Any new projects on the way?

Perhaps. I'm always thinking. It's just that elusive little thing called "free time" that can be an issue. If you want to stay in the know you can subscribe to my blog or follow me on Twitter.

I love Tweetropy! Can I give you money?


Well, as much as I'd love to pretend I'm above receiving gifts, who's going to say "No" to that? Not me! :-)

If you'd like, you can give by clicking "donate" below:

What does Mvgsrn wlk nmlqqusa zd! mean?

You're just going to have to figure that one out for yourself ;-)
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