scorecardresearch Skip to main content

While you were sleeping, Twitter was hacked

screen capture

The Twitterverse woke up to a major hack Wednesday.

A strange tweet beginning with a swastika and containing hashtags saying “Nazi Germany” and “Nazi Holland” made the rounds early in the morning. The tweet was sent thousands of times from numerous high-profile accounts of brands, businesses, and public figures, including Worcester State University and Polar Seltzer.

In an e-mail to the Globe, a Twitter spokesman said a third-party application was to blame for the hack.

“We removed its permissions immediately. No additional accounts are impacted,” the spokesman said.

Polar Seltzer was first hit with the post at 2:40 a.m. and the message for WSU was posted at 2:59 a.m.


In addition to the local beverage company and university, the tweet also appeared on the Boston Landmarks Commission’s feed and on Ace Ticket’s.

Outside Boston, the tweet appeared on many verified accounts, such as those of Amnesty International and UNICEF USA, Toyota Italy’s account, and that of fitness guru Denise Austin.

The post links to a YouTube video that appears to feature Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and it refers to April 16, the day Turkey holds a referendum on whether to boost Erdogan’s powers.

The Dutch voted Wednesday in parliamentary elections that were seen as a test of the strength of the far-right populism reverberating in the world.

Aimee Ortiz can be reached at Follow her on twitter @aimee_ortiz. Jeremy Fox can be reached at