Twitter bizarre notifications: Secret message, glitch or hack?.
Twitter sent out weird, nonsense notifications to a huge number of its users.
The messages came up either on the home screen as normal, or at the bottom of the app if it was already open. They appeared as usual, in a blue box.
But the text of the message itself was entirely nonsensical. It iswasfull of a series of numbers and letters, which appear to be different each time but always ended with a colon and a number.
Some people received a whole host of the notifications. Searching the site itself revealed dozens of reports of the problem coming in every minute.
The problem appeared to be with the technology that powers Twitter’s notification systems. The string of numbers – which looks like a hexadecimal string of the kind used in programming – presumably refers to a part of Twitter’s code, which would normally be swapped out for something that a human can read but is failing to do so because of a bug.
But users reported that the messages are showing even when they aren’t expecting to receive a notification, and without one showing up in the notifications tab of the app.
All of the messages appear to be appearing over recent minutes, and only seem to be appearing on iPhones. They are all unique.
While they are a little concerning and odd, there’s nothing to indicate that the message refers to any broader problem with the Twitter platform. A number of people took to the site to ask whether the strange notifications indicate they’ve been hacked or refer to some other problem – but the vast number of them received in recent minutes suggests that is probably not the case.
Some on Twitter joked about the difficult of trying to work out what the strange messages mean.
But others just expressed surprise that people had notifications turned on for Twitter at all.
Since this article was first published, Twitter confirmed to The Independent that the bug should now be fixed.
CEO Jack Dorsey posted that the company is “working to understand why it happened”, after he tweeted an earlier update that included a screengrab of the problem and was retweeted thousands of times.