10 May 2010

[net liff] How Gizmodo Made Everyone On Twitter Lose All Thier Followers

2405.I love it when trendy services FDGB (fall down, go boom) in an embarrassing way, even if I enjoy them.

Today's victim: Twitter. John Herrmann, writer at Gizomodo, figured out how to force anyone to follow you. Anyone. Even Ashton Kutcher. Fo'reals, apparently.

Then, I'm assuming, an ass-ton of people tried it.


Because, suddenly, at about 1015 PDT, everyone's followers fell to zero.

And everyone following fell to zero.

And there was much RT WTF.

At the time I postulated three possibilities:
  1. CERN had a glitch in the Large Hadron Collider.
  2. Justin Bieber, somehow. I don't know how.
  3. Deepak Chopra meditated.
But soon enough, it was revealed that Gizmodo's force follow hack may well have been the problem:

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.

Update (10:18 AM PST): Of note: protected updates did not become public as a result of this bug.

So, at this writing, we await Twitter putting things to rights.

And Gizmodo and John Hermann are probably going to wonder if another lawyer is going to show up at the door soon.

Ain't modern technology wunnerfull?

Update, 1101 PDT:
Twitter's appeared to have fixed the problem. The oppressor @aplusk rules once again.

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