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Followers vanish as Twitter tw*ts tweet bug

Loneliness 2.0

Twitter has squashed a bug that allowed users to force any other Twittering netizen into "following" them on its popular micro-blogging service, and in doing so, its engineers temporarily removed follower lists, leaving countless people feeling extremely unpopular.

It seems the bug was originally noticed by a Turkish blog before it reached the English-speaking world via a blog calling itself Webrazzi, which forced the likes of Twitter CEO Evan Williams and Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg into following a dummy account.

The bug allowed users to boost their own follower lists simply by tweeting "accept@" along with a given Twitter user name.

With a post to its status page, Twitter later acknowledged the bug and announced its death. The fix involved turning off follower lists across the service

"We identified and resolved a bug that permitted a user to 'force' other users to follow them," Twitter's post reads. "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."

It appears that follower lists have indeed be restored. "Back from school, says one recent tweet. "Man that 0 followers 0 following thing scared the crap out of me! i'm glad it has been resolved."

"hmm tnk God," reads another. "'Following: 0 Followers: 0' dat is wat i saw 5mins ago::::i jumpd up nd i realise twitter is fixin' a problem dats y....!!" ®

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