A popular and respected tech researcher has been bombarded by vile threats after uncovering a new Instagram feature.
Jane Manchun Wong, an expert who specialises in uncovering unreleased functionality buried within the code of apps, discovered that the Facebook-owned company was planning to clamp down on ‘squatters’ who steal people’s usernames.
This led to a number of tweets in which cowards made sick rape and death threats using the most appalling language.
On Twitter, Wong wrote: ‘I didn’t create this feature. I only found it by reverse engineering the app. Please stop sending me death threats
‘I’m just passing along what I found. Don’t murder me or my family please.’
The feature Wong uncovered related to ‘username squatting’ – the name for a criminal trick which involves claiming Instagram handles in the names of people or companies and then attempting to extort money from them.
She dug into Instagram code and found the app is planning to lock usernames for 14 days after their owner shuts an account down.
This means crooks won’t be able to nick their handle and then try to sell it back to them.
‘I’m going to get you killed and you’ll regret everything,’ one vile person wrote.
Others made highly offensive slurs about the tech expert’s ethnicity. We have decided not to give any details of these disgusting insults.
After the incident. Wong was also sent a number of supportive tweets praising her work and urging her to ignore the abuse.
‘It’s really sad that people are sending death threats over you finding out that Instagram doesn’t want them sitting at their computer all day stealing names anymore,’ one person wrote.
‘These people are actually sad.’
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