A Cowboys' tweet that saw its photo change.

The Chicago Cubs wound up taking plenty of Twitter criticism Tuesday after a 2012 tweet of theirs saw its photo change from a photo of former player Billy Williams to an explicit porn photo. But they were far from the only team affected by a similar glitch altering old tweets. Twitter user @reckonre (who made it clear that he was just documenting these, not causing them) illustrated many of these:

There are other examples that have since been deleted from numerous other teams (including the Steelers, Jets, Brewers and Marlins), too. 12 Up Sports documented many of them, including this one from the Cowboys:

And even Bleacher Report saw one of their old photos change:

The key context here is that 2012 (where most of these photos seem to date from) saw a lot of third-party services used to attach photos to tweets, from Twitpic to YFrog to Lockerz, and these old photos changing is probably about something that happened at one or more of those services. It’s unclear which one was affected, but it’s notable that these services mostly don’t still exist in their old form; for example, Twitpic was forced to close in 2014 after changes to Twitter’s API, and eventually struck an agreement with Twitter to turn over its archives. So it seems likely that something happened with some of these old links. We don’t know what, and we don’t know who was responsible, but it certainly led to some headaches for many teams Tuesday. Fortunately, most had their photos change to something a little less explicit than what happened with the Cubs.

[12 Up Sports]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.