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Twitter boots a bot that revealed Wordle's upcoming words to the game's players

A bot that tried to spoil the fun for Wordle users has been banned by Twitter.
Screenshot by NPR
A bot that tried to spoil the fun for Wordle users has been banned by Twitter.

Twitter has suspended a bot account that waged a brief and unwelcome war on Wordle aficionados.

The @wordlinator bot account was designed to fire off a dismissive reply to anyone posting their now-familiar green, white and yellow score on the daily game. The bot also revealed the next day's answer.

The bot automatically blasted out replies to Wordle players such as "Guess what. People don't care about your mediocre linguistic escapades. To teach you a lesson, tomorrow's word is..."

While die-hard Wordle fans might find the bot's behavior hateful, Twitter suspended the bot because it ran afoul of its rules around authenticity. The platform bars accounts from "sending bulk, aggressive, high-volume unsolicited replies."

"The account referenced was suspended for violating the Twitter Rules and the Automation Rules around sending unsolicited @mentions," a Twitter spokesperson told NPR.

The spoiler bot caused a stir among Wordle fans, as advice quickly spread that anyone who wanted to avoid seeing a spoiler message containing tomorrow's answer should block the account.

The rogue Twitter account was able to expose the upcoming answer because much of Wordle's inner workings are available to inspect through code on its "client side" — meaning it's visible to users, rather than being hidden within a web server.

Spoiler alert: As software engineer Robert Reichel explained earlier this month, it's not difficult to find Wordle's master word list and the algorithm it uses to select each day's answer.

But, of course, reading through the word list to gain an edge in the game would be cheating. As NPR's Linda Holmes notes, your Wordle strategy says a lot about how you see the world.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Bill Chappell is a writer and editor on the News Desk in the heart of NPR's newsroom in Washington, D.C.