Is it possible to see protected Twitter accounts (accounts which you can't see what they are tweeting until they allow you to follow) without them knowing?
No, unless the owner of the account has accepted your follow request, there's no way to see the tweets of a protected account has approved your follow request.
When you protect your Tweets, the following restrictions are put in place:
- People will have to request to follow you; each follow request will need approval. Learn more.
- Your Tweets will only be visible to users you've approved.
- Other users will not be able to retweet your Tweets. Learn more.
- Protected Tweets will not appear in Twitter search or Google search.
- @Replies you send to people who aren't following you will not be seen by those users (because you have not given them permission to see your Tweets).
- You cannot share permanent links to your Tweets with anyone other than your approved followers.
Unless of course, the Twitter account holder removes the protected account status for a short while—in which case the tweets will be visible until the account status is changed to protected.