One of the things I love about Twitter and Facebook is that you can update one from the other through various third party services. Unfortunately this opens up some potential security problems for these services. I’m sure someone has already thought about this, and I’m sure these services have safeguards in place, but what if…
- Someone signs up for accounts in Twitter, Twitterfeed, and Yahoo Pipes.
- The RSS feed from Twitter is fed into Yahoo Pipes.
- The resulting RSS feed from Yahoo Pipes is fed into Twitterfeed.
- Twitterfeed updates Twitter.
- This person then posts a single update on Twitter.
The result would be a recursive loop where the post would be endlessly reposted from one service to another. Now let’s say you let Twitter update your Facebook status. That would then start repeating the same update on that service, too.
Most of these services have time limits that prevent something like this from happening. The API is polled on a limited time. However, even if the API polls the server once every hour, it would still flood your services with the same message over and over again.
For Twitter, even though this is a weakness, some services rely on unlimited API access. According to the Read Write Web blog, Twitter is now restricting its API polling.
I have no intention of testing this theory. I like using Twitter and Facebook too much. I don’t recommend that any of my readers do this, either. However, from a purely academic standpoint, it’s interesting to speculate what might happen.