Recently, Twitter wrote about a bug in their system that allows you to force people to follow you without their permission. Twitter said they have closed that security bleach but it seem there is another bug in their system. For the past few days, I have been receiving @replies in my twitter stream from users who claim I forced them to follow me.
The only explanation I can come up with is some hacker who doesn’t like me too much found a new vulnerability in Twitter and is using it to force people to follow me to get my Twitter account banned. The users who see they are suddenly following me will report me to Twitter or send me nasty @replies, or both. And really, I can’t blame them for doing that since I would be extremely upset if I’m forced to follow someone I don’t know.
If the goal of the attacker is to get Twitter to ban my account, he has come close to getting what he wants. I received this email from Twitter asking about the forced following.
I replied to Twitter with the same explanation in this post. I don’t know how this is happening or what/who maybe doing this. I don’t force people to follow me. I’m hoping that Twitter will see that I am a long standing Twitter user and conclude that this has to be the work of some outside party. The fact that Twitter sent me an email instead of just banning my account would seem to indicate they realize this is not normal. If my account was band new, I can see Twitter banning it immediately.
My apologies goes out to anyone who was forced to follow me and I’m hope Twitter closes this security bleach soon.