According to a report in the Daily Mail, Sheen had meant to direct-message Justin Bieber with his phone number. But it appears he must have used the @ symbol instead of "D" (for direct message)--meaning that every one of Sheen's 5.5 million followers could have seen the tweet.
"310-954-7277 Call me bro. C," Sheen is said to have tweeted before realizing his mistake and removing the post from his profile.
However, according to the Daily Mail, it was too late. Before he knew it, Sheen was receiving a flood of calls and text messages. Rather than throw his phone in the toilet however, the troubled star took the opportunity to have a little fun. "Charlie saw the funny side and answered the phone a few times, saying things like 'Ray's Pizza' and 'Winning,'" said someone in the restaurant where Sheen was eating when all hell broke loose, the Daily Mail reported.
Snafus like Sheen's, and that of Weiner, whose political career came crashing down last year after he accidentally tweeted risque pictures of himself, may someday make Twitter and third-party Twitter client makers reconsider the commands used for sending direct messages and normal replies. It's becoming increasingly clear that in a rush, people sometimes are incapable of telling the difference between the two kinds of messages. And the consequences can be dire. Sheen, it appears, may only have to change his phone number--while Weiner has to change careers. But who knows who else might fall victim to the mistake in the future, and what consequences will come from that?