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Social media wrap: Mixed messages not White House's fault (on Twitter at least)

Gibbs

Mixed messages can plague any White House, but this time it’s not the press team’s fault.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ Twitter account sent an unintelligible automatic message to his nearly 100,000 followers Tuesday morning, his account being one of thousands hacked by a malicious computer program. The tweet has since been removed.

Gibbs later tweeted: My Twitter went haywire - absolutely no clue why it sent that message or even what it is...paging the tech guys...

Aside from unintelligible tweets being automatically generated from affected accounts, pop-up windows were opening on a user’s desktop without a user clicking on them, and messages were being retweeted without a user’s consent. No other politicians (on my Twitter feed, at least) appear to have been affected.

Twitter says it has fixed the attack from the “cross-site scripting” -- or XSS -- bug, or worm, and asked users to report further issues by using the @safety tag. 

-- Craig Howie

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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