Early Wednesday morning, thousands of tweets containing swastikas and Turkish hashtags that translated to “NaziGermany,” “NaziMania” and “NaziNetherlands” flooded the platform.
The attackers used the service’s permissions to post a message in Turkish, reading “å #NaziGermanyð#NaziNetherlands, a littleð#OTTOMAN SLAP for you, see you on #April16th.” That date is when Turkey is planning to hold a referendum on whether to grant stronger powers to its president Tayyip ErdoÄan, and the tweets also linked to a pro-ErdoÄan video on YouTube.
The breach came through a third-party tool called Twitter Counter, which many Twitter users—including celebrities and brand managers—use to gather analytics. It affected brand accounts including Amnesty International, Forbes magazine, Duke University and BBC North America.
After removing the messages, a few brand managers tweeted about the hack: