The original owner of @N gets his $50k Twitter handle back

Naoki Hiroshima has regained control of his stolen Twitter username, @N. 

 

Kate Knibbs

Tech

Published Feb 26, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 5:12 pm CDT

After a hacker extorted San Francisco Bay Area developer Naoki Hiroshima to relinquish his rare, one-letter Twitter username @N, he made a new account: @N_is_stolen. Hiroshima then wrote a highly-read essay on the blogging platform Medium explaining how the hacker, under the pseudonym Social Media King, manipulated GoDaddy and PayPal to gain the information necessary to steal @N, a coveted username valued at $50,000.

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Yet nearly a month passed and @N was still stolen. Social Media King gave Hiroshima a breakdown of his hijacking process, but didn’t give up the account. Hiroshima was clearly frustrated by what appeared to be a lack of concern on Twitter’s part, tweeting that he didn’t believe the micro-blogging platform would do anything to help his case. GoDaddy and PayPal were also implicated in not helping protect Hiroshima. 

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But perhaps, ultimately, things worked out, because Hiroshima is once again the man behind @N. Appropriately enough, Hiroshima took to Twitter to announce his recolonization of the handle:

Order has been restored.

— Naoki Hiroshima (@N) February 25, 2014

This is a happy ending not only for me but also for sane employees and loyal users of Twitter’s. Congrats to those, too.

— Naoki Hiroshima (@N) February 26, 2014

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Meanwhile, some opportunistic tweeter seized the now-vacant @N_is_stolen handle, tweeting once to let people know he wasn’t Social Media King:

Hey Folks. I’m not the hacker who stole the original @n just some guy who was on twitter at the right time.

— X X X (@N_IS_STOLEN) February 26, 2014

The real Social Media King’s identity remains unknown, as does Hiroshima’s method for getting @N back. The mystery continues!

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H/T The Verge | Photo via Garrett Heath/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

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*First Published: Feb 26, 2014, 5:13 pm CST