Sometime last night, just before taking off from work for the day, we became convinced that human fender bender Amanda Bynes had hacked our Twitter account.
Maybe “hacked” is too strong of a word, but it seemed like this troubled celebrity had somehow mastered Twitter in a way that tech reporters hadn’t.
It happened like this: BuzzFeed writer Louis Peitzman noticed that when you scrolled down to the first tweet on Amanda Bynes’ Twitter profile, something bizarre happened. Love her or hate her or have no opinion about her whatsoever, Ms. Bynes’ Twitter made it appear as if you–or whoever’s Twitter account you were logged into–had tweeted some extremely complimentary things about her.
The whole thing reminded us of that old AIM trick, where you’d plug %n into your away message and it would automatically replace it with the username of whoever was viewing your profile.
As it turns out, Amanda Bynes wasn’t the only celebrity whose profile made it appear as if the user had tweeted nice things about them. In fact, the Twitter profiles of Kanye West and Chris Brown were both displaying the same bug.
Twitter released a statement soon after BuzzFeed pointed out the problem, saying that it had resolved the issue. “While scrolling through another user’s profile, it falsely appeared to the viewer that the user had retweeted a Tweet that the viewer hadn’t actually sent,” read the statement.
This all strikes us as mildly bizarre, though: for one, why was it only happening to celebrities? It wasn’t relegated solely to verified accounts, as Ms. Bynes’ account wasn’t yet verified. And it also didn’t appear to have to do with follower counts, as lesser-known Twitter personalities with big followings but little name cache didn’t appear to have the bug.
Whatever the case, we’re happy to have all history of our prior faux adoration of Amanda Bynes wiped from the Twitter archives.