1. Computing
Leslie Walker

Twitterscope: Glitches of the Week

By April 2, 2012

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Gaffes and glitches on Twitter are growing increasingly commonplace as more people use the social messaging system for instant communication. Consider these Twitter stories from the past week:

Spike Lee Sends Erroneous Tweet

In a cautionary tale on the dangers of instant communication, Spike Lee made news last week when he admitted to tweeting the wrong address of a man accused of shooting an unarmed Florida teen.

Spike Lee tweeted his apology to the couple whose house address he mistakenly tweeted: "I deeply apologize to the McClain Family for retweeting their address. It was a mistake."

Teacher Fools Media on Twitter

A school teacher in Rome posed as Afghan President Hamid Karzai and other world leaders on Twitter and prompted reporters into publishing inaccurate stories based on his tweets, including one that falsely announced the death of Fidel Castro in January.

The teacher, Tommaso De Benedetti, told the Guardian he was trying to demonstrate the weakness of the news media by showing the unreliability of their use of social media.

Beliebers vs. Little Monsters

Fans of Justin Bieber opened fire on Lady Gaga's "little monsters" on Twitter by urging people following Lady Gaga to stop following her. They even touted a hashtag for their campaign to get people to unfollow Lady Gaga: #OperationUnfollowGaga.

The goal? To help Justin Bieber dethrone Lady Gaga as the most followed person on Twitter.

Also last week, Bieber's Twitter account was reportedly hacked by someone who started unfollowing and blocking thousands of people followed by Bieber, according to ZDNet.

Twitter Accounts Exposed to Others Without Permission

Twitter briefly shut down its TweetDeck Web management app last Friday after a bug in the software caused some Twitter accounts to be made accessible to people other than their owners. Twitter restored the app on Saturday.

Twitter Follow Bug: Unfollowing Madness

Another software bug has been plaguing Twitter lately, according to a report by The Telegraph in the U.K. It causes a glitch in the following system so it may look like someone you've just followed is not actually being followed by someone.

Twitter confirmed a bug in the follow system has affected Twitter users. It's unclear whether that bug is actually causing accounts to unfollow people they have followed or just makes it appear that way by erroneously showing the "Follow" button for someone you're already following.

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