Bug Rolls Twitter Accounts to Zero

Account subscription numbers temporarily set to zero

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Joi Ito
    Twitter co-founder Evan Williams won't feel safe online any time soon.

    The wails you may have heard earlier today on line were probably the sound of attention-seeking narcissists who value their self-worth in the number of people who follow them on Twitter.  Many of that lot screamed in agony as every user's count was rolled back to zero.

    This brief spell of quantitative equality was because a bug that allowed any one user to force any other user to follow their account.

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    The bug, first discovered by a Turkish Twitter user, apparently allowed users of the website interface to tweet "accept @ev" and make Twitter CEO Evan Williams start following an account.

    The company's team fixed the issue within a few hours of being notified of the bug, and says that private or "protected" accounts were not revealed due to the bug.

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    And now follower counts are back. Meaningless metric of influence restored.

    Jackson West figures at least half of his Twitter followers are probably either spam or dead accounts.

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