Wordle is a simple, free online game with a devoted fanbase, so of course, someone’s come along with plans to stomp all over it. In this case, the ruination comes in the form of a Twitter account that purposefully spoils the next day’s answer for anyone tweeting about Wordle.
The person behind the account, which goes by @wordlinator on Twitter, is currently unknown. The bot has been searching out people who tweet about Wordle just to respond with discouraging messages and spoilers for tomorrow’s word. “Guess what,” the account tweeted. “People don’t care about your mediocre linguistic escapades.”
There’s some good news here, though, which is that the Wordlinator account has been suspended just days after it first began its witch hunt. But it’s also been revived more than once already. Tread carefully, Wordlers.
The danger of reverse engineering — The Extremely Online often find themselves completely unable to enjoy something fun without poking and prodding at it — which is how we now understand exactly how Wordle ticks. Software engineer Robert Reichel posted earlier this month on his website that he’d discovered a method by which to reverse engineer Wordle’s algorithm to figure out the answer without actually, you know, playing the game.
Reichel essentially found that a client-side algorithm determines the Wordle of the day by choosing from a static wordlist. By piecing together a series of variables, he demonstrates exactly how to find the day’s word. He later found he could follow a similar method to find the next day’s Wordle answer, too.
Just let people enjoy things — Wordlinator is struggling to find a foothold on Twitter, but it’s telling that the account hasn’t been outright banned. And Reichel’s source material is still available for anyone to play around with.
Spoilers are always frustrating, but this case is exceptional in that Wordle is just about the most harmless trend in recent memory. Its creator is not trying to make any money with annoying ads. It’s free and available right in your web browser. If seeing people post about it bothers you, Twitter makes it very, very easy to mute the word “Wordle.” There is truly no reason scenario we can think of in which it would be appropriate to hold such a heavy grudge against a free word game.
Between copycat apps and vengeance-seeking Twitter accounts, everyone is trying to capitalize on the Wordle craze in their own twisted way. Not us. We’ll just be over here minding our business, guessing at five-letter words until the end of time.