Does Twitter support Unicode screen_name with spaces now? Example included!


Can anyone explain the screen_name of this user id=601563665 ? It’s in Unicode and has ‘space’ in it as well! Does Twitter support this officially now?!



It doesn’t look like it. From what I can see, they’ve changed their screen name to display the Unicode for their name by inserting the hexadecimal characters directly and then relied on Twitter displaying UTF-8 to make it look that way. They have, however, managed to insert a space and added the @ symbol at the end (from my Western point of view, of course). I have not yet managed to get either the encoded username or the hex code to display that user’s tweets.

I’m willing to bet that they thought they were being clever when changing it and now the only people who can find it at all are those with the user ID or who see a retweet (or hashtag) and follow the account. I also think that they did not create that username when they created the account, but instead changed the username after the account was created.

I’ve managed to retrieve some tweets from it and it is active, but I had to mess around with the API, both directly and with Twython, in order to do it to do it.

I have not yet managed to determine the correct URL to access that account through the web ( Even if I use the API to follow the account via its user ID, visit my following page and click on the link for that account, it still gives the “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist” search page. In spite of this the account has managed to collect over 20,000 followers since early June last year.

Now, I can’t read Arabic, but it’s not exactly obfuscated as to what it is. Either a particularly devout Twitter user or a bot that posts quotes from the Quran. If I were to bet on either outcome I’d probably lean towards a bot, but I’ve only checked a very small sample of the tweets so I could be completely wrong there.

Finally, while it’s interesting that this can be done, I certainly wouldn’t recommend it since changing your username that severely can prevent your account being accessed by most users. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the desire to have your actual name displayed properly, but that’s still achievable with the display name (“real name”).

As for official Twitter support, I’m guessing the answer to that is “no” since this user managed to completely destroy his (or her) Twitter URL.


Please unsuspend my twitter account immediately