Twitter OAuth Invalid Signature on friendships/create

This is a public service announcement.

I’ve been doing a bunch of work with Twitter recently & came across this problem.

When trying to do a friendships/create, I get back “OAuth Invalid Signature.”

I’m using Tweetsharp v0.15 preview (an excellent product, btw), but I don’t think this is a Tweetsharp issue, it’s a Twitter issue. People are really scratching their heads about it.

The Tweetsharp guys proposed a solution here, but that didn’t help me. In fact, the more I googled, the more erroneous solutions I found.

Here’s my setup. TwitCleaner (the app) has a consumer keys & secret. It would then get an access token/secret for the user, & use that token/secret to make the user follow @TheTwitCleaner. This is done so we can DM the user when their report is done. We encourage people to unfollow again (if they want to) once they get their report DM.

Anyway, pretty simple. We have valid OAuth token/secret from the user, so that’s not a problem.

We’re just trying to make the user follow @TheTwitCleaner, should be simple, right? No.

I wasted several hours on this. Among the solutions proposed (& wrong) were:

  • You can’t use a consumer key/secret to follow the user those keys are associated with (ie, TwitCleaner the app has key/secret, but it’s associated with @TheTwitCleaner the Twitter account)
  • The OAuth information is incorrect
  • The request had to be made over https, not http (not something I have control over with TweetSharp, as far as I can tell)
  • That because I was passing in Client information when making the request, that was gumming things up.

Well guess what? It was none of those.

Know what fixed it?

Passing in the username to follow in lower case.

I kid you not.

Now, @TheTwitCleaner is in Twitter with that combination of upper/lower case, so I was passing it exactly as stored. But no, apparently befriend (Twitter API friendships/create) needs lower case in order to work reliably.

So now you know. Hope that saves you some pain.

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October 23rd, 2009 | Code, Web |
  • You saved me hours! Thanks for the post. The same problem exists for /friendships/destroy.