Fame-Hungry Twitter Users Give Up Passwords for ‘Twitterank’

Is Twitterank an elaborate prank to “steal all of ur passwords” or is it a legitimate ranking system for Twitter users?

I have to admit a heavy dose of skepticism on hearing the deafening din of “did you get your twitterank?” posts today, and it seems that I’m not the only one with doubts about the merits and motives of this latest fame-grabbing (and potentially powerful phishing) microblog app.

Mana from the heavens for cloud sceptics – on a day a lot of professional photographers lost all their images due to the failure of photo hosting site Digital Railroad went under – as Twitter users fanned their egos en masse to parade their ‘twitterank‘ to their followers.

Twitterrank has no apparent purpose beyond a sketchy numerical rating, and there are rumors circulating on Twitter this afternoon that it is basically a fishing expedition.

I picked up on this after seeing Tantek Çelik retweet:

@t RT @brianoberkirch Twitterank is a vast conspiracy I created to steal all of ur passwords + shame Twitter into OAuthing. + make u look vain.

At the time of this writing I’m not sure what’s going on with Twitterank, but I have to say it is amazing how promiscuous web app users can be with their security details.
This sort of vanity time wasting harms Twitter’s credibility as a useful collaboration and communication tool and adds credence to many IT professional’s doubts about the security of online transactions.

The ‘Twitterank algorithm is vewy vewy secwet‘ – your login details should be as well!

To be fair, the site does offer a disclaimer, although it’s not very convincing:

Disclaimer I am about to ask you for your Twitter user ID and password. You should be afraid. This is where you ask yourself, “Do I really want to find out my twitterank badly enough to give some random dude on teh interweb my account info?” And if that’s not what you’re asking yourself, shame on you.


Fortunately,//–> I’m not out to steal ur twitterz. Frankly, I wish I didn’t have to ask for your account info, but Twitter doesn’t offer APIs using any other authentication mechanism (according to the docs). So blame them. Read more about what I’ll do with your account info/data in the FAQ.

I will not store your password. I will only use it once to calculate your Twitterank.

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