Weirdo Twitter messages were a glitch, not a hack

Were you one of the dozens of people who got a bizarre Twitter message yesterday?

The messages were a long string of what looked like random numbers and letters. They were so mystifying that even Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey himself was like, whaaa?

Naturally enough, recipients assumed that the messages were the probably result of…

  1. A disturbance in the Matrix,
  2. The End of Days,
  3. Kanye West’s new password,
  4. What started as a coded mathematical declaration before the sender fell down the stairs,
  5. Encrypted messages from Numbers Stations whose senders forgot to include creepy-sounding chains of dispassionately enunciated letters or numbers, sometimes 24 hours a day, from high-powered shortwave transmitters, or
  6. Those darn hacking Russians.

It was, in fact, none of the above.

A few hours after Dorsey said he was looking into it, Twitter support explained it as a glitch in which the red “you’re getting a message” bubbles turned themselves into numbers and code:

You know those red bubbles that appear when you get notifications? Usually, you wouldn’t see this in numbers and code, but that’s how we talk to your phone so you get those notifications. It’s fixed, we’re good.

Twitter confirmed that the bug is now fixed.

It apparently only affected Apple devices that had Twitter alerts turned on. And, more particularly, those Apple devices whose Twitter accounts actually had people Tweet at them during the relevant time period.

Consider your Matrix undisturbed!

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