Twitter’s timestamp bug, Alec Baldwin and me

102114blog baldwin

Alec Baldwin and wife Hilaria in happier times.

Credit: Reuters

This morning I had my own encounter with a supposedly eradicated Twitter timestamp bug that once was responsible for sending the notoriously boorish actor Alec Baldwin into a homophobic rant over a newspaper allegation, later proven untrue, that his wife Hilaria had tweeted idle pleasantries while attending the funeral of Sopranos star James Gandolfini.

Nothing the least bit dramatic occurred as a result of my run-in with the bug – unless head-scratching counts -- but the bug has not been eradicated, despite Twitter claims to the contrary, and how could I resist writing this post after a Google search on “Twitter timestamp wrong” turned up such a star-studded result. (Heck, they’d drum me out of the bloggers’ union if there was a bloggers’ union.)

Here’s the lead of a June, 2013 MailOnline story – which I can’t be the only one who missed -- explaining how the Twitter bug resulted in MailOnline falsely maligning Baldwin’s wife, which in turn resulted in Baldwin acting like Baldwin toward a MailOnline employee:

Confusion reigned today over exactly when Alec Baldwin's wife wrote tweets that appeared to be posted during James Gandolfini's funeral service after the actor unleashed a homophobic rant on a MailOnline reporter.

The couple denied the accusations that Hilaria tweeted from the service and today it appeared that an embarrassing Twitter glitch may be to blame.

The couple denied the accusations because they were not true and the glitch appeared at fault because it was; in short, Hilaria’s tweets were posted three hours later than indicated by their timestamps, which meant they were posted three hours after final respects were paid to Galdolfini. Baldwin blew up when Baldwin blew up.

There was much ado about the bug – which has apparently been around for years -- and on Dec. 9 the Twitter Support team tweeted that it had been slain.

102114blog tweet bug fixed

That would appear to have been premature.

Which brings us to this morning and a tweet of mine that amused me enough to email a link to it to a friend.

102114blog tweet right time

Note the timestamp: 8:21 a.m.

My friend’s reply via email: “You’re probably not getting a peak audience at 5:21 a.m.” (We’re both on the East Coast.)

Five-twenty-what? Head-scratching ensued and I asked him to send me a screen capture of what he was seeing.

102114blog tweet wrong time2

It would appear Twitter has more troubleshooting to do.

And it’s a good thing I wasn’t at some famous actor’s funeral.

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