As news of 41-year-old basketball legend Kobe Bryant, a five-time NBA champion and two-time Olympic gold medallist, passing away in a helicopter crash sent shockwaves across sports fraternity, the Mamba fans and supporters gathered to pay homage to one of the most celebrated basketball players in the history of the sport.
The Sikorsky S-76 chopper he was travelling in slammed into the rugged hillside in Calabasas, west of Los Angeles on Sunday.
Kobe, who was accompanied by his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, along with 7 passengers and crew members on board succumbed to the horrific crash.
To celebrate the athlete, some dug up old interviews of Kobe talking about his daughter Gianna, while others shared personal anecdotes and interactions with the NBA champ.
Amongst them, however, was a tweet dated 2012 that ended up upsetting those mourning the demise of the player.
On November 14, 2012, a Twitter user who goes by the handle @dotNoso, had "predicted" Kobe's death. Heck, he even mentioned the exact manner of the player's death.
"Kobe is going to end up dying in a helicopter crash," the account had tweeted.
Kobe is going to end up dying in a helicopter crash— .Noso (@dotNoso) November 13, 2012
Those who weren't put off by the tweet, wanted the user to unironically "predict" the future for them. But others sensed some foul play in @dotNoso's tweet.
Many pointed out that the "predictor" had used the Carbon V2.5 client for Twitter which did not apparently exist back in 2012.
How did you use Carbon V2.5 in 2012 while V2.4.31 was released in 2015? pic.twitter.com/zqxq2LL844— Guy (@ip_Guy_) January 26, 2020
Not true.. you're confusing Twitter with Facebook. Here there's no edit option— 27TH OCTOBER🇿🇦 (@king_tality) January 26, 2020
But again does Twitter even offer an edit option like other platforms such as Facebook or Instagram? The answer is a resounding no.
Here's an explainer done by Twitter user Mike Beasley (@MikeBeas):
1. Twitter does not have an API that allows for changing post dates (or changing tweets in anyway). Tweets are immutable once posted.— Mike Beasley (@MikeBeas) January 27, 2020
The original tweet was posted via Carbon client for WebOS, @MikeBeas pointed out.
Twitter’s API does not allow modifying tweets, including dates, he further asserted.
2. This tweet was not posted via Carbon v2.5, as the label indicates. It was posted from an earlier version of @CarbonApp.— Mike Beasley (@MikeBeas) January 27, 2020
The original Carbon app launched in 2011 (see their old username @CarbonAndroid). It did exist when this was posted.— Mike Beasley (@MikeBeas) January 27, 2020
Many folks think Carbon can be used to change dates. This is not true & is based on confusion about two similarly-named pieces of software.— Mike Beasley (@MikeBeas) January 27, 2020
If someone had found a way to access a private/undocumented Twitter API that allowed this to be done, Twitter would cut them off easily.— Mike Beasley (@MikeBeas) January 27, 2020
Twitter has a vested interest in protecting the integrity of their metadata since it is the foundation for the whole platform.— Mike Beasley (@MikeBeas) January 27, 2020
In layman terms:
“Carbon” here is not an app that changes dates, it is a regular Twitter app. The tweet is real.— Mike Beasley (@MikeBeas) January 27, 2020
Another Twitter user (@kmpoppe) chimed in to explain how and why the "prediction" tweet that had given birth to conspiracy theories was a stray yet real tweet.
@kmpoppe also made an interesting observation, where he cited a Business Insider article from November 13, 2012, a day after the "Kobe helicopter death" tweet was posted -- meaning that the tweet could've had a direct reference to the then news.
The article headline read: Kobe Bryant Flew A Teammate To A Doctor's Appointment In His Helicopter Yesterday