Twitter Follow Bug Chaos

Turkish suspended Twitter user Bora Kirca, hacker or innocent victim

Twitter Follow Bug

Twitter News – Zero Followers Glitch!

Last night, a twitter bug forced the microblogging site to set their users’ followers and following count to zero in an attempt to make the lists accurate. At around 11pm (IST), I was amazed to find that I have neither any followers nor any following on twitter.

I found a strange message on my Profile Page – You don’t have any followers just yet. You probably will soon, though!

Zero Followers

I visited @twitter profile page and found two messages posted to inform users of this problem:

Follow count display is set to 0 and follow/unfollow is temporarily offline while we fix a bug.
1 hour ago via web by biz

Twitter Post

Follow bug discovered, remedied. Read our status blog for details. http://bit.ly/dhQ3fF
30 minutes ago via web by jennadawn

Twitter Post

I also visited the profile page of Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter, Inc. He also posted a message in this regard.

The Following 0 issue is temporary and will be resolved http://bit.ly/dhQ3fF
25 minutes ago via web by jennadawn

Biz Stone Post

I visited the Twitter Status Blog when the problem started, and again just before posting this article for the latest updates. Here are the details:

Follow bug discovered

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.

Update (2:42 PM PST): We’re continuing work on rolling back abuse of the bug; in the meantime, if there’s folks you’re following that you didn’t choose to follow, you can block them or unfollow them.

Update (6:30 PM PST): We’ve finished our cleanup of the spurious followings generated a result of this bug. If you are still seeing folks you are following who you didn’t choose to follow, please use the block or unfollow tools to remedy.

The latest Twitter bug is understood to have been caused by a Turkish Twitter user called Bora Kirca (@borakrc), allowing users to follow anyone including celebrities and twitterites. He figured out accidentally that if you tweet ‘accept’ followed by @ and any given Twitter username, for example billgates, then Bill Gates will follow you.” No wonder, his twitter user account is suspended.

Account Suspended

Hacker or Innocent Victim

Bora Kirca

The 17-year-old Turkish student, Bora Kirca, from the north Turkish city of Zonguldak, accused of hacking into Twitter programming and leaving users, including twitterites, with no followers, denied he was a hacker. All he did was stumble across problems with the site and tried to pass the information on to Twitter without success.

Twitter moved quickly to fix the bug, but not quick enough to stop it hitting the accounts of a number of high-profile Twitterers including Oprah Winfrey, pop star Justin Bieber and Tinseltown’s favourite couple Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore.

Gizmodo was first to break the news of the bug, reporting: “Follow this dead-simple guide to force any Twitter user – from Oprah (Winfrey) to (Ashton) Kutcher – to follow you. No, seriously.”

“For hours, thousands of people were able to take control of other people’s Twitter accounts with a trick so easy that even the newest Twitterer could execute it,” the report added.

A Twitter spokesperson said about the problem: “We identified and resolved a bug that permitted a user to ‘force’ other users to follow them.
“We’re now working to roll back all abuse of the bug that took place.”

What the Twitterites Posted

BillZucker
SET OFF CIVIL AIR ALARMS..MOVE STATUS TO DEFCON 5..PUT SMALL CHILDREN IN THE BASEMENT..TWITTER IS EXPLODING! #damnyouzucker

PleasureEllis
I MISS YOU ALL!!!!!! COME BACK TWITTER COME BACK!!!

katharnavas
RT @TechCrunch: Hey Twitter, Can We Have Our 1.4 Million Followers Back? – http://tcrn.ch/9sRn6Y by @erickschonfeld

Scobleizer
Actually @jlopezvalcarcel I +love+ that everyone right now on Twitter is equal with 0 followers. I wish they’d just get rid of the # anyway.

mashable
Twitter resolves bug that let you force anyone to follow you – http://bit.ly/9dRK6z

klout
Don’t worry about losing your Twitter followers. We have paused our processing so your @klout score will not drop.

What the Indian Celebrities Tweeted

Riteish Deshmukh (@Riteishd)
A big hello to zero followers

Wanna meet the turkish hacker? He’s supercool! LoL

Salman Khan (@BeingSalmanKhan)
I am glad this 0 thingy has happned cos all the celebs were into how many followers they have. It eventually goes to their head.

Thx for not messin with ‘our’ heads! N shatterin egos! I’m glad with 0 followers! N hope all from my industry r ok as well. Just need ur luv

Sameera Reddy (@reddysameera)
is twitter hacked or something??? i have 0 following /followers !!! its actually liberating. we all on neutral. i like!

its happening with you guys too!!! its really strange but i like that we all together but not really as numbers! what say? !

guys i am getting every tweet so we are all still here!what are numbers anyway? sachinT Junior B, u me we all the same!thats a good thing!:)

Goodnite tweeple! the twitter glitch was entertaining but All izz welll! saw a wonderful film #Coco Before Chanel ! sleep tight ZZZzzzz

Shekhar Kapur (@shekharkapur)
U guys all there? For sum reason my twitter a/c shows zero followers suddenly. U think I’ve been hacked?

Sonakshi Sinha (@sonakshisinha)RT @twitter
Follow bug discovered, remedied. Read our status blog for details. http://bit.ly/dhQ3fF

Sophie Choudry (@Sophie_Choudry)Last nite’s twitter hacker experience turned evry1 frm hero 2 zero in a second..literally!Haha!Agree with @BeingSalmanKhan.Only luv matters

Some Applauds and Brickbats for Bora Kirca

The Good,

ekonews
#sozlukeko brakes twitter’s wings. Thnx @borakrc, thnx http://www.sozlukeko.com/

The Bad,

MeldaGs
olaylarin sorumlusu eleman ; you are suspended baby. @borakrc

dreamer_1994
@borakrc STOP HACKING TAYLOR!!! You’re only hurting people, and you need to get a life.

and The Ugly!

immabefearless
@borakrc you’re so fxx pointless. go fxxxxxx kill yourself. @taylorswift13 is life, your hell. FXXX YOU.

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Admin/Author Admin/Author: Subrato Paul, owner of GoldenTwine Informatics founded in April 2003, lives in Kolkata, India. He is a freelance website designer, Internet marketer, social media enthusiast, and blogger. He writes in his blogs and as a guest writer about marketing and social media, eCommerce, website design and development, and his website.
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3 Comments

  1. I always spent my half an hour to read this weblog’s
    content daily along with a mug of coffee.

  2. Interesting post Paul. I was traveling on the day this occurred but heard that it impacted a lot of people. This was a good overview of what actually happened. It’s amazing how one person can through a powerful social network like Twitter into chaos with a few simple keystrokes. They seemed to have addressed it well. Thanks for taking to time to explain what happened.

    • When the chaos occurred I was online on twitter and captured whatever information I could gather. I have put them together into this article so that tweeples like you who missed out may read the entire story. Thanks for your interest in this story.

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