A Wordle troll bot called The Wordlinator is punishing players for sharing their results to Twitter by tricking them into seeing the next day’s word. Wordle’s simplistic game design and easy share mechanic have enabled its rapid success, as people all around the world attempt to guess the day’s five-letter word. The Wordle box is one reason for the game’s success because it allows players to share their results with friends or on social media, without revealing the correct answer. The feature shows the grey, yellow, and green boxes a player accumulated in a game, revealing how many tries it took to get the correct answer. The feature has also created several memes like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appearing in Wordle boxes which have only aided the game’s virality.
Wordle in itself is a simple concept but there are many different strategies to employ to correctly guess the five-letter word. Since there are only six tries, players have to utilize each guess to either confirm or deny the letters present in the answer. Grey boxes indicate letters that aren’t in the word, yellow shows letters that are in the word but in the wrong place, and green reveals a letter is in the right spot. Each day there is a different word to uncover and some are harder than others. Earlier this month, Wordle’s 219th word was particularly challenging, having gone viral on Twitter for its difficulty. Players took to social media to share their results – either with pride or shame – posting their Wordle box to reveal whether they solved the puzzle or failed to guess the word.
To punish those who share their results on Twitter – deeming it Twitter bragging – a Wordle troll bot has been tricking players into seeing the next day’s word, according to Kotaku. The Wordlinator targeted only those Twitter users who shared their Wordle box, replying to their post with responses such as: “God, stop bragging. Here, take tomorrow’s word and get on with your life.” The reply would then spoil the next day’s word, ruining it for that player and anyone who happened to see the tweet. Multiple accounts took to the platform to share screenshots of the bot, including Dan Nguyen, warning others of the phenomenon. The Verge reports that Twitter has since suspended The Wordlinator bot, though copy-cats are always a possibility.
In the game, Wordle answers are present in source code, which means anyone interested in spoiling future answers can do so with a simple hack. Last week, one Twitter user shared a screenshot of all the answers, having revealed that the daily puzzles are available hundreds of days in advance. Most players are interested in the challenge rather than getting the answer right, though, so spoiled puzzles aren’t much fun at all. One aspect that makes Wordle so engaging is that players only get six guesses, and figuring out the five-letter word in the nick of time is one of the game’s pleasures.
Those who want to keep the Wordle puzzles a surprise should be warned about the troll bot and potential clones, as it’s always possible more will come out of the woodwork – just like Wordle’s many copy-cats. That being said, sharing results, or so-called Twitter bragging, is an important aspect of Wordle and its community, and The Wordlinator’s intimidation tactics could have stopped players from enjoying the game.
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