I Think I Broke Something: The Story Of Rickrolling Vine

ws on June 03 2013

Favorite   Tweet    Share

My site seems to be down (because I never assumed I'd gain any popularity this quickly), so here's a mirror of the post I just wrote:

This afternoon, I was messing around with Vine, the app purchased by Twitter to make video sharing easy.

It's become massively popular among my friends, so I figured I'd confuse them a bit by posting something longer than 6 seconds.

I tinkered around and soon found out how they were doing video uploads. A bit more tinkering later, and I was able to upload a file directly. I'll get to the actual hack at a later date, once it's patched.

So, I had this new power, and I wasn't quite sure it would work. I threw the only video file I had encoded correctly up, and sure enough, it worked.

I had Rickroll'd Vine.

The tweet got a little bit of attention, but I later deleted it after a request from a friend of a friend at Twitter engineering. This was a courtesy thing more than anything else.

A few hours later, I went AFK for a few minutes, and had received congrats, kudos, and interview requests from personal heros and internet celebrities.

I was mortified.

I had just ruined some poor engineer's day.

I did my best to stop it, but once something is on the internet, it's there for good.

I appreciate all the support, but I also ask that you think of the dude who forgot a final check on his codebase before uploading, because I've been that guy. It sucks to have the whole internet laughing at your mistake, and I hate that I've done that.

Vine is a really well built concept, app, and service. They've scaled wonderfully, and I hope that people like me don't discourage them to continue doing great things.


Total View Count15205
Times favorited7

More by ws

Comments (3)     + Write  a Comment

sfard | reply
Great post, man. I doubt you ruined an engineers day. Better to discover something like that now (and with you) than years down the road with someone more malicious.

zmarffy | reply
It's really sad how lazy people are not to comment.

Good post. It makes you realize how stupid people are when people make up stuff about you (TechCrunch).

And that being popular is interesting, not necessarily good.

nogoyo | reply
Great post. Great work. Uncovering bugs in a good way, giving props to the app and engineers, having fun, causing a PR hit - all in all a great job.