Trouble on Twitter leaves users feeling powerful, unpopular

Twitter blames bug for problems with 'friend' and 'follow' functions

Even Conan O'Brien, well known in the land of Twitter for following only a single person, was unknowingly welcoming all manner of riff-raff today as an apparent software bug was allowing any account there to compel recognition from any other.

From the Twitter status blog:

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.

Sure enough, my own account shows me having zero friends and zero followers, then rubs it in with this message: "You don't have any followers just yet. You probably will soon, though!"

Mashable has more details.

(Update: CNET writer exploits situation to "force" Ashton Kutcher to follow her. Wouldn't have been my first choice, but it's a relatively free country.)

(Update, 2: It’s party time for headline writers; for example: OMG! Twitpocalypse! Twitter Loses Everyone's Followers!; Twitter Users Go Missing in System Vaporization; and, The Day Twitter Died.)

(Update 3: Meanwhile, a British Twitter user has been fined $1,500 and banned from Robin Hood Airport for life as punishment for having forgotten that the authorities often believe there is nothing funny about making bomb threats. A wrong-minded verdict and unjust fine, in this case, although perfectly predictable.)

(Update 4: My Twitter peeps are back.) 

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