Twitter has suspended a bot account that responded to posts about Wordle, an online word deduction game whose popularity has soared in recent weeks, with purported spoilers about the next day’s word.
“Guess what. People don’t care about your mediocre linguistic escapades. To teach you a lesson, tomorrow’s word is,” the account appears to have written to at least one player, adding the word.
Twitter said it suspended the account because it allegedly violated the platform’s rules about sending high-volume, unsolicited replies to other users. Accounts are not allowed “to disrupt others’ experience,” the company said Tuesday.
Wordle’s premise is simple: Players guess a five-letter word, with each letter filling a square. Those squares turn green, yellow or gray to indicate whether a letter is in the right space, in the word but in a different spot, or not in the word at all. Players have six tries to guess the right word, which is the same for everyone.
Scores of people have taken to social media to share the square emoji that show how they arrived at that day’s answer. Others have grumbled about the popular posts and muted the word “Wordle” to avoid them. And, apparently, at least one person was so aggravated that they created an account to ruin the game for others.
That bot may have discovered the upcoming words by reverse engineering Wordle’s algorithm. The words, each assigned to a date, are stored in a list located in players’ browsers, software engineer Robert Reichel explained in a Jan. 9 blog post.
The @wordlinator account particularly irritated some because it violated the social contract that Wordle relies on. Although anyone could spoil the game for anyone else, usually, no one does.
That sentiment appears to be in keeping with the game’s origin story. Josh Wardle, a Brooklyn-based software engineer, created the free game as a gift to his partner. There are no advertisements or requests for donations, and Wardle has said he thinks the game’s appeal is that it offers simple fun with no caveats.
Amid a seemingly endless pandemic and an assortment of other national crises, sometimes wholesome entertainment is all that people want.