'Pig' remark MP & a tweeting conundrum

…An interesting bit of ‘explanation’ by David Wright MP after he apparently called Tories “scum-sucking pigs” on Twitter. From the BBC:

Mr Wright told the BBC that this was a legitimate “edgy Twitter comment about the political process” and the Tories’ “general policy position”.

“If it is good enough for Obama it is good enough for me,” he said.

But he insisted he never used the phrase “scum-sucking”, saying his account had been hacked into and the phrase added by someone after the message was published.

“What I think has happened is someone has tinkered with that and made it more offensive.

“I try to use Twitter to engage with people. Someone has messed with my account. I find that very frustrating.”

I stand to be corrected, but I am yet to find a way to edit Tweets. I have found that you have to delete them and re-publish them, amended. Why would someone take the trouble to hack into David Wright’s account to laboriously delete a tweet and then re-publish it, having added “scum-sucking”? And, by the way, the hacker would need to know or guess David Wright’s password. Or is he going, next, to offer the Grant Shapps “1234” password defence?

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3 thoughts on “'Pig' remark MP & a tweeting conundrum

  1. You’re right. The hack would have had to be very sophisticated in order to manually get into the database, find the Tweet and then edit it. I don’t think even Twitter staff have the ability to edits Tweets.

  2. From http://help.twitter.com/forums/10711/entries/13920-frequently-asked-questions

    “Can I edit a tweet once I post it?
    Nope. Once it’s out there, you can’t edit it. You can delete an update by clicking the trash icon on the right end of the update, but you can’t make changes.”

    So they would either have to do a MITM attack on his tweet, (ie get between him and twitter and edit the tweet before he posted it) or delete and republish quicker than the aggregators managed to snatch it.

    Those are very sophisticated hacks.

    Incidentally, there are ways to publish a tweet on someone else’s account without knowing their password – you fake an API authorisation (usually by cookie stealing) and you can then tweet without their password. As a user, you can check if this has been done to you by going to Settings | Connections – if you see something that shouldn’t be there, then you can safely delete it, though I’d suggest changing your twitter password just to be sure.

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