Did You Get a Weird Text This Week? This May Be Why

Telecom glitch caused people to get 'ghost' texts from people who didn't send them
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 8, 2019 9:55 AM CST
Mystery of Nationwide 'Ghost Texts' Has Been Solved
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Chainarong Prasertthai)

If you recently received a strange text that doesn't make any sense from someone you know, you're not alone—and a Maine radio station appears to have helped solve the mystery. Per Popular Mechanics, lots of head-scratching has been happening over the past couple of days, with people online wondering why they woke up Thursday to what the AP calls "largely unintelligible" texts, all of which seemed to originate on or around Valentine's Day of this year. A little digging by 92 Moose's Cooper Fox, who says he got his own bizarre text before the sun rose on Thursday, seems to have made some headway. The short explanation, according to his carrier, US Cellular: It was a telecommunications glitch. The more involved explainer: We might want to blame the "Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative."

The "joint venture" by Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T was announced in October, designed to standardize messaging capabilities for users across all four providers. Fox says he was told there was a glitch during a CCMI update. Verizon and AT&T stayed mum, T-Mobile blamed it on a "third-party vendor issue," and Sprint pointed to a "maintenance update," the AP notes. The Washington Post reports text platform Syniverse has accepted responsibility, saying that IT maintenance caused nearly 170,000 texts to be sent; it's not clear if the glitch was directly related to the CCMI. Popular Mechanics rounds up examples of the texts that many people received from numbers in their "contacts" list. "The good news is that there is no issue and you don't need to take any action," Fox writes in his post. (More text message stories.)

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