What is this Don’t Click business?


This afternoon, a friend of mine tweeted “Don’t Click: (link)”

I, being a naturally curious human being, proceeded to click the button and saw a page with another button that says “Don’t Click”

I clicked on that button as well and then noticed that in my Twitter feed, I had in fact tweeted the same link even though I never consented to do so.

Huzzah! the first twitter social virus!

It seems mostly harmless, just perpetuating itself and breeding. You can check out the graph of its use here:

Here’s how it works:

You can actually link to twitter and auto-fill a message box quite easily. All you have to do is write a link like this: “http://twitter.com/home?status=Sunlight Labs post on Don’t Click:http://bit.ly/kj1z9”. What this “virus” does is, it creates an iframe of the page, hides it, and when you click that button and you’re logged into Twitter, it makes you post that message (even though you don’t see it). There’s not a bit of javascript involved. The only javascript on the page is their Google Analytics code.

Shockingly it works amazingly well. Now we can see all the people who probably as children defied their parents when they were told not to do something. Check out this graph of the volume of the Don’t Click bug:

don't click graph

It also appears like all the source is available. The “virus” should be totally harmless. It doesn’t look like your account info was stolen or anything of the sort. Here’s the source of the virus translated into English.