Wow, Did I Do That? – No, A Twitter SMS Bug Made You Send Out All Those Spammy Looking Tweets
Since I’ve been on Twitter, I’ve always privately congratulated myself over staying “unhacked” through all the phishing scams that most people fall for, especially when they’re just starting out on the network. No tweet has been posted to my account that didn’t come from me, at least up until last night when I saw “myself” tweeting this mass of nonsense -
My emotions cycled through WTH???, to horrified, to resigned, to “raised eyebrow curiousity” in 3 seconds flat. It took me another two seconds to realise that this wasn’t the spammy, link-ridden drivel that compromised Twitter accounts send out. When you look at it closely, it’s just an SMS delivery report.
id:1041011602 sub:001 dlvrd:001 submit date:1209092043 done date:1209092043 stat:DELIVRD err:000 text:1/2: Direct from @ob
— Bankole Oluwafemi (@MrBankole) September 9, 2012
The explanation is real simple. You can set up your Twitter account to forward tweets to you via SMS from specific sources. I set up mine to forward my direct messages so I’d never miss them even if I was offline. But up till last night, the transaction never published a delivery report right into my Tweetstream. It’s a good thing I didn’t get a lot of messages over the weekend.
I’m aware that quite a few people who subscribe to Twitter SMS updates are experiencing the same thing, so I’ve decided to disable the feature till Twitter figures out a way to stop their back-end intestinal fluids from leaking out into my Tweetstream. While it’s not exactly “spam”, it’s still just as annoying, especially if you’re subscribed to many Twitter sources.
If you’re having the same issue, you can go here to disable the Twitter SMS feature (from a PC, mind you). Just uncheck all boxes in the text notification section, and you should be good.
By the way, why has no mainstream/global tech blog picked up this particular Twitter gaffe yet?