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5/10/2010
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Twitter Bug Fix Drops Followers To Zero

The micro-blogging service plans to restore follower lists to a time before the bug was being exploited.

A widespread bug has affected Twitter users around the world, allowing them to force other Twitter users to follow them.

In response, Twitter has turned off its follow/unfollow function until it can deal with the problem.

Twitter on Monday said that it has taken the drastic step of setting everyone's list of followers and of those being followed to zero in order to repair a bug.

The follow/following lists will be restored to a snapshot in time taken at some point prior to the bug's impact.

"We identified and resolved a bug that permitted a user to 'force' other users to follow them," the company explained in a post on its status blog. "We're now working to rollback all abuse of the bug that took place. Follower/following numbers are currently at 0; we’re aware and this too should shortly be resolved."

The company reassured users that protected updates have not been made public as a consequence of this bug.

While the disappearance of followers and those users are following has unnerved some Twitter users, others appear to be taking the problems in stride.

Three of the top 10 trending Twitter topics at the moment have to do with the bug and the zeroing of followers.

Twitter has had other service problems recently, though nothing out of the ordinary. On the evening of May 5, PDT, service was disrupted for about 20 minutes.

Recent ComScore Media Metrix data indicates that Twitter grew 131% between February and March of this year, in part the result of mentions of service on television newscasts.

In related Twitter news, a British man who joked about blowing up an airport on Twitter has been convicted of sending a menacing tweet.

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