The dictionary account that saved blue-check Twitter

Blocked from posting, internet celebrities started communicating through @everyword.


July 17, 2020

On Wednesday night, verified Twitter was in the throes of a crisis.

After the Great Hack of 2020 made it look like Joe Biden and Elon Musk tweeted out extremely sketchy bitcoin donation links, Twitter blocked many verified accounts from tweeting.

For a few hours, all of your A-to-D-list celebrity faves couldn’t post — but they could retweet.

To communicate from beyond the virtual grave, they turned to the account @everyword.

Flashback to the days of the @everyword empire

If you’d heard of the account before this week, you’ve been on the internet longer than me.

@Everyword launched in 2007 with the goal of tweeting all of the words in the English dictionary, one at a time.

The account was so popular that The Atlantic and The Washington Post covered its final tweets in 2014. The New York Review of Bots (not a typo) called it “the best” bot on the internet.

But on Wednesday, the account re-entered the mainstream — blue-check users started retweeting old @everyword posts, one at a time, to talk to their followers.

What were their all-important messages?

  • The Ringer writer Shea Serrano used @everyword to spell out “I will not be silenced.”
  • Video game developer Rami Ismail wrote “let me tweet again.”
  • Nate Silver stuck with “poll shows democrat leading.”

The whole mess felt a lot like that scene from Arrival, where Amy Adams tries to communicate with an alien species using a sign that says “Human.”

Do you have a favorite weird or essential Twitter account you follow? Hit us up @TheHustle and we’ll make a list of ‘em.

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