Tonight I was browsing my twitter stream, and as is often the case with me, not interacting a great deal. But then I saw something that got my attention. @reinteractive, the Twitter handle for Sydney’s dev services company posted this:
— reinteractive (@reinteractive)September 3, 2014
This tweet seemed uncharacteristic for the well respected Dev Hub co-organiser so I dug deeper. The offending tweet (since removed) appeared as a screenshot:
The reaction was unsupportive; to put it mildly:
— Keith Pitty (@keithpitty)September 2, 2014
— jeff kennedy (@elbanoitca)September 3, 2014
Why is this a problem?
In defence of @ninefold, I think the tweeter had their heart in the right place. I mean the subject of the tweet was female (“a girl’s best friend”). In fact, you could even say that a girl’s best friend is Rails. But it goes deeper than that.
The fact is that the tweet was insensitive. It puts an unnecessary sexual connotation on the message and casts a divide between men and women. In an industry that already struggles enormously with gender balance, this kind of message is at best ill-considered and at worst seriously damaging.
Computer Science was once a female dominated industry. Restoring the balance will require a concerted effort from coders, pundits and corporations across the board and tonight was a set back from one of Sydney’s key players :(
Later tonight I received a tweet from @dennisgraham7 who has apologised for the tweet on behalf of @ninefold. As I said, I don’t believe the tweet came across as intended but let this be a lesson for us all.
So apparently twitter was hacked and in the process many accounts were compromised. The simple fix is to reset your password but the hackers were able to compromise the server that hosts all of Twitter’s stylesheets so that changing your password is damn near impossible.
(NB: technically it was a DNS hack that redirected traffic to a different server entirely)
The fix. If you’re on a Mac/Linux enter the following into your /etc/hosts file:
(you should remove this later when twitter fixes the problem).
Go ahead and reset your password.
Important: you should also revoke access to all of your applications in case one of those was the entry point through which your account was accessed (ie; it may not have been your password it may have been an authorized app).
To revoke access, go into your settings, click “Apps” and click the Revoke Access button next to all of your apps.