Monday, May 10, 2010

'Poof, you're gone' - Twitter bug magically makes followers disappear

Gizmodo reports on the bizarre Twitter bug that surfaced when a Turkish tweeter ostensibly discovered by accident that if you "accept username" (fill in username with the tweeter you accept) it forces them to follow you. So he and his girlfriend had a lot of fun making famous people follow them.

That's not all. Twitter's attempt to roll back the forced follows reset the number of followers of those famous people to ZERO. There is, of course, an arcane explanation - the bug is part of an old text command.

Reader Rhainor explains on Gizmodo:

"Its intended use was for people who have their tweets protected. If you try to follow someone who's protected, instead of instantly following them, it sends a request to the user ("'username' has requested to follow you"). To allow them to follow you, you 'accept' the request (in my experience, by clicking a button, but for people who rarely use Twitter.com, the text command makes sense)."

Ahem.

What a way for Twitter to discover the bug.

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