Twitter Followers Wiped Out! Was It Something I Said?
Perplexed, Bewildered? With Twitter reaching an all-time high milestone of 105 million users, all member of the Twitterati are beside themselves trying to figure out why their followers picked up and left. Presently the microblogging platform is showing no individual followers for anyone? While it takes some of us in Twitterville months to accumulate hundreds of followers, it only took one little bug to wipe all of our slates clean. Wonder how Ashton Kutcher is feeling and whether he called Larry King yet?
At 1:30 PM ET, Twitter says it's fashioned a remedy for what has caused Twitter feeds to show zero followers today.
Twitter just posted the following explanation for its 105 million accounts.
"We identified and resolved a bug that permitted a user to 'force' other users to follow them. We're now working to rollback all abuse of the bug that took place. Follower/following numbers are currently at 0; we're aware and this too should shortly be resolved."
The bug appears to have originally been noticed by a Turkish blog, followed by the blog Webrazzi, which successfully tested it out and forced the Twitter accounts of industry luminaries like Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Evan Williams to follow a dummy profile. CNET reported the flaw allowed members to add followers to their own accounts, basically, by tweeting "accept" followed by "@" and any given Twitter user name.
In response, Twitter's admins seem to have zeroed every user's "following" and "follow" numbers on Twitter.com, possibly as a means to prevent anyone from seeing whether the trick still works. Despite the change to the interface on the Twitter Web site, tweets are appearing as normal in users' timelines, and it's unclear whether Twitter has actually blocked the hack.
Gizmodo describes how the exploit works (or worked) as follows: On Twitter's Web site (not through a third party application) enter "Accept" and the username of whoever you're targeting, as in "Accept BarackObama." You'll get a "server error" message, which means the trick has worked.
Anyone know more? Shoot me a tweet @roncallari
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