Last week Techcrunch reported about a possible vulnerability in Twitter which made it possible to force other people to start following you. A user named johng77536 tricked Twitter and got more than 7000 followers in one night. The hack was an obvious spam effort with only two posts in the account, both linking to a site called hotmoda.com. The account was swiftly deleted by Twitter and that seemed o be the end of it.
Now it appears that it is also possible to get more than 8000 followers in one day WITHOUT hacking Twitter. A fairly unknown blogger with Twitter username @manatee woke up on Friday morning and found 15619 follower requests waiting in her Twitter account. She accepted them all, and ended up with 8000+ followers within a few minutes. Considering she only had 5 followers the day before, this would count for a very sharp rise to fame.
Twitter seems to be aware of the issue but hasn’t closed the account which seems to imply that this is more likely a bug than a hack. @manatee is quickly losing followers as people start to find out they have involuntarily started following her. Looking more closely at the blog and Twitter posts it could also simply be the same hacker as before who worked just a little harder on looking like a real person instead of a spammer. There is no author listed at the blog or in the Twitter account and the image of a young and beautiful blond woman could have easily been copied from somewhere.
For now @manatee IS still listed as one of the top 100 most popular people at Twitter, which is bound to attract some new followers. I have contacted Twitter and will add their official reply to this post as soon as I get it.