While Ashton Kutcher and CNN are trying to be the first to hit 1 million followers on Twitter, Joseph Frieschel, an inconspicuous Australian MD, is quickly catching up. Frieschel only opened his Twitter account last night, but he already has over 200,000 followers. How can this be? Well, it looks like the anonymous members of the infamous 4chan imageboard didn’t like the idea of either Kutcher or CNN breaking the 1 million follower barrier before they got a chance to make their presence felt.
4Chan Takes on Twitter
The choice of the fake user’s “real” name, username, avatar, and bio are typical examples of the kind of crass and often tasteless humor that runs rampant on anonymous forums like 4chan. The new Twitter account clearly refers to Joseph Fritzl, the Austrian who, unknown to the rest of his family, imprisoned his daughter in his house’s basement for 24 years until his double life finally unraveled last year.
While the members of 4chan’s ‘random’ board (often referred to as /b/) first tried to manipulate twitter with automated scripts that set up fake accounts, they weren’t able to hack Twitter’s captcha process, which is probably the reason why even the enterprising 4chan pranksters haven’t been able to reach more than 200,000 followers for their fake account yet. Knowing 4chan, however, we don’t expect them to give up anytime soon, and we wouldn’t be surprised if they managed to break Twitter’s captcha at some point as well.
If you would like to see how exactly this hack works, here are the instructions that one of 4chan’s members created for the rest of the /b/ community.
Oprah Might Just Win this Race
The members of 4chan’s /b/ board also made the news a bit earlier this week, when they manipulated a Time.com poll so that it featured the name of 4chan founder ‘moot’ as the most influential person in the world.
Where is Twitter?
Interestingly, Twitter, which should be aware of the sudden rash of fake accounts that all subscribe to only one user, hasn’t closed this account yet.
Update: We just head from Twitter’s Biz Stone. Twitter is aware of this situation and “and will react accordingly.”
Note: we did not include a link to 4chan in this post, as a lot of the material there is NSFW (or worse). If you insist on going there, a quick Google search for 4chan will do the trick.