Twitter glitch

For some reason, connected with nothing I did, I am suddenly “following” people on this website’s Twitter account “evolutionistrue.”  As you may know, I don’t follow anyone, as I don’t have time, and I use Twitter as a device to let people know when there’s a new post.

And if anyone can tell me how to get back to zero people I’m “following” from the number of 900+ who appeared from God knows where, please let me know. I have a sinking feeling that I’ve either been hacked or there’s some bug, and I have to delete all those people I’m following one by one.

35 Comments

  1. Paul
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    You have very likely been hacked. Disable permission for apps/websites to see your password, then change it.

    • Barry Lyons
      Posted January 18, 2014 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      I wonder if Jerry should delete each follower one by one (a pain) and THEN change the password, if need be. I’m not sure.

      Something here might help:

      https://support.twitter.com/forms

      • Paul
        Posted January 18, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Everyone following @Evolutionistrue should go to the twitter page for him and:

        Block
        Unblock
        Follow (because Blocking someone you follow drops the Follow)

        • Posted January 18, 2014 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

          No, that’s not a good idea at all. Don’t do that. If a bunch of people were to block an account (even if they later unblocked it), that could (and most likely would) automatically “flag” the account as potentially spam-y, etc., which could potentially result in suspension of the account. No need to use the block function at all here. Please avoid it.

          • Paul
            Posted January 18, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

            Hey, that is a good point.

            (spoiler alert, I’m not actually the Paul you were replying to, but an imposter. Or, he is the imposter, I mean!)

  2. Tom_Paine
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Aw… and I thought you followed me for my awesome cat photo!

  3. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    There are a few apps out there that let you mass unfollow. Be careful though as I think Twitter may lock your account if you unfollow too many at once (I have no idea what this number is).

    Here is a list of some apps. Twitcleaner looks the most promising but I’ve never used any of them.

  4. JohnnieCanuck
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    You are currently sitting at 767 followers. Are you busy unfollowing or are the gremlins at work?

  5. Mark Joseph
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    In a possibly related occurrence, for no reason at all I’ve suddenly stopped receiving any e-mails from this website. I’m going to resubscribe (of course, then I’ll probably get two of everything, but that’s still better than none).

  6. Posted January 18, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Known bug, sometimes twitter makes you randomly follow or even unfollow people who follow you. Can lead to large numbers of followed people if you have a lot of followers.

    Use a bulk unfollow tool such as http://www.justunfollow.com/ and change password / dump OAuth authorizations you don’t recognize just in case.

  7. Posted January 18, 2014 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Known bug, sometimes twitter makes you randomly follow or even unfollow people who follow you. Can lead to large numbers of followed people if you have a lot of followers.

    Use a bulk unfollow tool such as http://www.justunfollow.com/ and change password / dump OAuth authorizations you don’t recognize just in case.

  8. Posted January 18, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    We’ve fixed it for now. At Professor Ceiling Cat’s request, I reset the password and revoked & then reauthorized third-party app permissions, etc. Either Jerry or I still need to unfollow about 500 accounts, though (unfortunately, mass unfollowing apps violate Twitter guidelines/TOS, so I had to unfollow the accounts one-by-one. I stopped after I’d unfollowed about 450 of them, because if you follow and/or unfollow too many accounts in one day, Twitter can suspend your account, so the rest will have to wait until tomorrow).

    Signed,

    Professor Ceiling Cat’s tech-savvy pal :)

    • Alex
      Posted January 18, 2014 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      You can use http://t.co/yIZTQcCmqc (free) to unfollow people 50 at a time. I just tested it as I normally use it for lists

    • Paul
      Posted January 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Must have surely been some kind of hack btw, very unlikely I’d be a twitter bug.

      Miranda, did you check Jerry’s computer for keyloggers and/or backdoors (remote admin tool)? If you even have physical access to his or, that is.

      If not, and he has a keylogger, they’ll just get his password again after he logs in a few more times.

      • Posted January 18, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I think that it must have been a hack of some sort. I did a quick Twitter search (for something like “hacked following people automatically”) when Jerry first told me about it, and, from the results that came up, it looks like it’s recently happened to at least a few other Twitter users.

        & No, I don’t have access to his computer, as I live in Washington state, but I highly doubt that it’s an issue with keyloggers or anything like that, because he doesn’t actually manually post anything to Twitter. The blog posts are just publicized/posted there automatically via WordPress’s “Publicize” feature.

        The thing is, Professor Ceiling Cat’s previous Twitter password was of the sort that’s *very* easy for a hacker to guess (it had dictionary words in it. Zomg!:) ), so I imagine that was the problem. For safety/security/privacy reasons, I’m one of those people who uses extremely complex passwords for everything online, and I generated a similarly complex new Twitter password for Ye Olde Professor, which should (I hope) make something like this less likely to reoccur.

  9. Diane G.
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    How incredibly annoying!

  10. Posted January 18, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    Sorry to hear. If there’s to be a silver lining, it’s that this is just that much more confirmation that I really, really, really don’t want to ever have anything to do with MyTwitBook ever.

    b&

    • Diane G.
      Posted January 18, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Silver lining for you & me, anyway. :D (And any other adamant hold-outs.)

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted January 18, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Yeah, Twitter doesn’t really monitor well for strange activity. I’ve been impressed with how well Google actually does.

      Even my own firewall logs show annoying attempts. Man, what happened to the good ol’ days of Finger, Talk & PINE? LOL!

      • Posted January 18, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Man, those were the days.

        USENET, too. At least, before September….

        b&

        • Diana MacPherson
          Posted January 18, 2014 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          Oh yes. I remember alt.atheist. Or it may have been alt.atheism.aye even sci.atheism.

          • Posted January 18, 2014 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            We likely crossed paths, even if obliquely….

            b&

            • pacopicopiedra
              Posted January 18, 2014 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

              Is a Ben Goren crossing your path better or worse than a black cat crossing your path?

              • Posted January 19, 2014 at 9:20 am | Permalink

                What makes you think I didn’t have a black cat with me at the time?

                b&

          • Paul
            Posted January 19, 2014 at 2:15 am | Permalink

            Ah you youngsters and your usenet.

            Dial-in bulletin board systems is where the discussion was at, many many years prior to usenet.
            ;-)

            • Diane G.
              Posted January 19, 2014 at 2:16 am | Permalink

              Yep, that was my day. Had an external modem on which I placed the phone head-set.

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 19, 2014 at 7:08 am | Permalink

                You were cool just like Mathew Broderick in War Games (I so wanted his computer set up).

              • Posted January 19, 2014 at 9:27 am | Permalink

                An uncle of mine not only had that type of modem, but his terminal was a teletype machine.

                b&

              • lisa parker
                Posted January 20, 2014 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

                @Diana MacPherson
                I had his computer setup.Why in the world would you want that?

              • Diana MacPherson
                Posted January 20, 2014 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

                Because at that time all I had was a Commodore 64 with no connectivity.

        • David Duncan
          Posted January 19, 2014 at 3:21 am | Permalink

          I used to be fairly active in USENET too. What happened in September?

  11. Susan Freiman
    Posted January 18, 2014 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Can you unsubscribe from Twitter and re-subscribe from a different address?

    Susan Freiman

    [image: cid:3.3437162163@web172503.mail.ir2.yahoo.com]

  12. lisa parker
    Posted January 20, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    “God knows where?”


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