An offshoot of the Anonymous, the loose hacker collective, recently released a Twitter tool that it says will hijack trending topics on Twitter.
Apparently, this group of Anonymous is “tired” of the silly topics displayed prominently on Twitter because of their popularity, like today’s trending “Miley Is Not A Bad Girl” or “wifeymaterial," calling such topics “pathetic.”
The tool released is called URGE. That stands for “Universal Rapid Gamma Emitter” and it lets users “tweet messages within” the trending topic message. (People already post off-topic messages in a trending topic on Twitter, in an attempt to use the visibility of those popular topics to spread a different message; URGE appears to just let them do so faster.)
The purpose of URGE, according to the group’s Tumblr, is to “raise awareness of problems going on in this world and show people that real problems exist outside of ‘Jersey Shore’ and ‘Sex’.”
Anonymous lays the blame more on Twitter, which has chosen to highlight such topics in the design of its service, than it does on the people who post on Twitter about such topics.
According to AnonGries, who is listed as the support contact on the Tumblr page, the tool is completely safe. "It only accesses your Twitter when you start the app. No tweets are sent automatically. Nothing happens without your interaction,” wrote AnonGries in a private Twitter message.
The Anonymous group has even uploaded the code for URGE on software-hosting site Github for all to view, and posted a public user manual on text-sharing site Pastebin.
On the tool's Twitter account, @_URGE, postings report that 1,766 people have downloaded the software and 3,450 people have viewed the manual. (Looks like some folks are scared of taking the plunge.)
According to a tweet by an Anonymous affiliate, URGE does not violate Twitter’s terms of service. URGE appears to be an app that allows a user to tweet faster, similar to many third-party apps to which Twitter grants access to its service.
To quote from the group’s tumblr, the tool makes it “easier for us to tweet faster without copying and pasting constantly.”
No word yet on whether URGE has successfully hijacked a trending topic on Twitter.