Rickroll Resurrected

October 26, 2018

By Jeff Johnson

I want to talk about a recent announcement by Twitter (and Square) CEO Jack Dorsey: https://twitter.com/jack/status/1017682342008238081. Go ahead and read it, I'll wait.

Not what you were expecting, was it? Last night I learned that all tweet ids are in the same namespace… or numberspace? It doesn't matter which username you use in a link, because a tweet with a particular numerical identifier will automatically redirect to the username of the account that posted the tweet.

Perhaps Twitter considers this behavior to be a feature. It would be a lazy, brute-force method to keep links valid after an account changes its username. However, I consider it to be a bug. The potential for evil outweighs the potential for good. You present someone with a link that they expect to go to one account, and the link instead goes to a completely different account.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please buy my apps. They've been endorsed by Jack himself: https://twitter.com/jack/status/996871675668033536.