Friday, August 24, 2012

Twitter Application API Bug allows Auto Following Accounts

It seems that Twitter has a serious security issue, mostly a bug. It is not necessarily to hear this from a global news TV channel, you can just know it from the Cairo-based digital marketing agency New Egypt Consulting :)

The story stared when I noticed the crazy growth for the Egyptian artist Tamer Hosny's followers, most of them were irrelevant US and EU-based accounts.

As expected in this post, Tamer followers were decreasing to less than million today. However, numbers were increasing and decreasing all the time ensuring this conclusion: Twitter has a bug that allows third party applications (via API) to use Twitter accounts -that authorized them- to follow specific accounts without the approval of original account owner, which is different from regular auto-follow applications that follow back who follow you (not following anyone or someone application is programmed to follow).

Many Twitter API-accessed applications get authorization from account owner to follow new people - potential bug that explains the dramatic increase in Twitter followers for Tamer Hosny on Twitter

The above photo for Twitter application (to comment on a well-known news portal) explains the secret behind automatic follow behavior that interprets the reason for mass followers growth for some Twitter accounts such as Tamer Hosny account.

Does Twitter company has the courage to admit the bug and act accordingly to solve it; not only to save its image as a platform I love personally, but also to save the digital marketing industry?

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