The heart of tech is coming to the heart of the Mediterranean. Join TNW in València this March 🇪🇸

This article was published on November 17, 2014

This single tweet is crashing the official Twitter app for iOS [Update: Twitter has fixed the bug]

This single tweet is crashing the official Twitter app for iOS [Update: Twitter has fixed the bug]

Users on Twitter today discovered a bug in Twitter for iOS that causes the app to crash when a specific URL is tweeted on the network.

If the URL in question appears in your timeline, it’ll cause the Twitter for iOS app to crash every time it’s opened. Users don’t even need to click on the link to be affected.

First discovered by @CPVideoMaker, the bug appears to be related to a URL is encoded using “punycode” on the network. The problem was resolved within a few hours of it being noticed.

An example of a tweet that could cause the crash to occur is below; this is the tweet that Twitter for iOS to crash repetitively on my iPhone.


Punycode is a method in which Unicode characters — such as emoji — can be encoded for display in ASCII’s limited character set. The URL in question that’s circulating is a number of emoji’s translated using Punycode, according to @CPVideoMaker.

Naturally, when someone finds a bug that breaks something, everyone starts sharing it to mess with their followers.

Screen Shot 2014-11-17 at 6.34.06 pm

Thousands of users on the social network poured onto the network via alternative apps to express their frustration that the official Twitter app for iOS seemingly wouldn’t open after encountering the Punycode tweet.

The bug doesn’t appear to affect third party apps or Twitter’s apps on other platforms. The company appears to be working around the bug by disabling individual links that use the method.

Update: Twitter’s iOS engineering lead just shared that the bug should be resolved now and that you should be able to launch the app again.

Also tagged with

Back to top