On Monday, tech blog Gizmodo's John Herrman reported a
sneaky way that Twitter users could force anyone into following them. If
you wanted Oprah to follow you on Twitter, for example, you could
simply type the phrase "accept oprah" as a new Tweet, and sure enough
Oprah would be listed as one of your followers. It seems that the bug,
quickly remedied, was discovered by a Turkish Twitter user named Bora
Kırca, who posted about it on his Turkish-language blog, a reader of
which tipped off Gizmodo. Once the news spread, scores of Twitter users
pried their way into Twitter feeds belonging to Conan O'Brian, Bill
Gates, Ashton Kutcher, and everyone in between. Twitter scrambled to
close the loophole, but in their rush temporarily caused everyone's
following and follower counts to drop to zero.
But how did Kırca
come to find the loophole? Like so many things in life, it all goes back
to power chords, Flying-V guitars, and leather-clad Germans with big
hair. That's right: the Twitter celebrity-following crisis all began
with 1970s German heavy metal. It seems that when Kırca recently
expressed his admiration of the German group Accept by Tweeting "Accept
pwnz," he was surprised to see a Twitter user named "pwnz" immediately
begin following him. Kırca pieced it together and the rest is history.
there's a silver lining here. The 50-odd-years-old members of Accept, after
an extended hiatus from rocking, are currently on reunion tour. The
Awl's Maura Johnston gets
suspicious, writing, "I smell shenanigans." Was the whole thing a ploy
to publicize the rock gods behind such jams as "Balls To The Wall"?
Probably not, but we will take any excuse to embed the song's awesomely
retro video. Enjoy!
The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now. Our team tracks newsmakers and opinions across the entire media spectrum: newspapers, web sites, television, radio and magazines.
But we do more than just collect information. By synthesizing, analyzing and summarizing what’s out there, and adding new information when we can, we are a news engine that gives you a quick and valuable account of the issues of the day.