SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Twitter users who used the word ‘Memphis’ found themselves temporarily locked out of their accounts at the weekend because of a bizarre bug.
Several users shared screenshots showing messages from Twitter saying their account was being limited for violating the platform’s rules, after they had tweeted a message which included the word ‘Memphis’.
Twitter late Sunday acknowledged the error and said it had been fixed.
Reports of the bug emerged after some football fans noticed that posts mentioning Olympique Lyonnais player Memphis Depay were being blocked.
The French football club tweeted a picture of their Dutch forward with the message: “Hey, @Twitter – can we talk about him yet?”
Others joined in with jokes about the apparent taboo.
“When bots flood our comments with ‘say the m word’,” NBA team the Memphis Grizzlies tweeted with a video of a player blocking a shot.
Some users expressed mock concern about the taboo covering the Tennessee home of rock’n’roll where Elvis Presley grew up.
Others referenced the Monty Python comedy Life of Brian, with lawyer George Conway, a vocal Donald Trump critic, linking to the scene where a man is about to be stoned for saying the word ‘Jehovah’.
“A number of accounts that Tweeted the word ‘Memphis’ were temporarily limited due to a bug,” Twitter Support said on Sunday.
“It’s been fixed and the accounts have now been restored. We’re sorry this happened.”
Some users noted that Twitter was able to ban a specific term, albeit inadvertently, and called for it to better address abuse on the platform.