The bug falsely attributes “likes” to users with an official Twitter notification on the timeline, a Twitter spokesperson confirmed to Mashable.
“[This] is a bug involving Likes that we’re working to fix,” the spokesperson said. “This issue is affecting numerous accounts.”
Mashable reports that the bug does not affect the liked tweets linked to a user’s profile. But the bug obviously still becomes a problem if, for instance, one of your followers believes you liked a tweet that contradicts your personal beliefs.
Some accused of Twitter of intentionally planting the misattributed likes to push users to see Tweets they wouldn’t otherwise.
Okay, so I’ve seen a lot of people upset because their followers are liking DJT’s stuff. This is a thing that Twitter is now doing to attempt to make us ‘get out of our bubbles.’
Oh, and they totally didn’t like his tweets.
Since last night, I’ve checked seven cases of this. pic.twitter.com/hhQdQQWcaO
— Tappy Paws (@TappyPaws) September 4, 2018
Not a bug, just Jack promoting white supremacy
— Kneel Breem (@Ganbare__Ginkun) September 4, 2018
I don’t know if this is true or not, but we need to sit up and pay attention.
This could be a bug, but it’s also possible that Twitter is now outright lying to us. https://t.co/PKvyMN0iLb
— Seamus Donohue (@Seamus_Donohue) September 4, 2018
Others doubted Twitter’s ability to pull that off.
like i get that’s it’s annoying but it’s literally not malicious….that doesn’t even make sense that’s like right wing conspiracy theory level nonsense this website barely works on a basic level let alone something as insidious as that yall are tripping
— i bless the rains down in shibuya (@undeadmp3) September 5, 2018
Twitter does seem interested in maintaining engagement, even if it comes by way of controversy. Just on Tuesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey personally intervened to allow far-right personality and conspiracy theory spreader Alex Jones to keep his account on the platform.
Last month, the Washington Post reported that Dorsey is “experimenting” with ways to get users engaged with views different from their own and dissolve “echo chambers.”
Still, Twitter maintains that the falsely attributed likes come from a bug. The company reportedly did not respond to Mashable’s inquiries about how many users are affected or whether it’s happening with tweets besides Trump’s.