How to Turn Off X's New Calling Feature

Elon Musk has added a new feature to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. This feature lets users make audio and video calls within the app. It was introduced without much fanfare but has raised privacy concerns because it's turned on by default. When you use it, your IP address, which can give away your location, is shared with the person you're talking to.

The calling function is found in the Messages section of the X app. It works on both iOS and Android devices. Calls are made directly from one device to another. This is called peer-to-peer calling and it's why IP addresses are shared. Many other apps use the same method, but they often have protections in place to keep calls private.

X has a feature for more private calls. It's in the Message settings under "Enhanced call privacy." When you turn this on, X hides your IP address by routing the call through its own servers. However, it's not clear if these calls are fully private because X doesn't say if they're encrypted. Encryption would prevent anyone but the people talking from listening in.

We tried to find out more about the privacy of these calls from X, but didn't get any useful answers. Given the potential privacy issues, it might be best to turn off the calling feature entirely.

But if you do want to use it, you should know how it works. By default, only people you follow can call you. You can change this to allow calls from people in your address book, verified users, or everyone. This can be confusing and might lead to unwanted calls.

Image: @villancikos / X

Tests using the app showed that you can control who can call you to some extent. For example, if you don't follow someone, they can't call you. If someone sends you a message and you accept it, they can call you, but you can't call them unless you follow each other.

The calling feature was built using technology from Periscope, a service X discontinued in 2021. This means calls are set up like a live broadcast, but only the people in the call can hear it.

Whether you use the calling feature on X is up to you. You can leave it on and risk unwanted calls and privacy issues. Or you can try to manage who can call you by adjusting the settings. Or you can turn it off and avoid the problem altogether.

Read next: Google Takes Apple’s Inspiration With Its Emergency SOS Feature For Android
Previous Post Next Post