Twitter has started bombarding users with unwanted text messages. First it happened to us; then we got an email tip; now there are reports on the microblogging platform itself. How costly will this get?

Twitter allows users to receive selected tweets on their cell phones if they so desire. Most users seem to rely instead on the company's website, or on applications like TweetDeck. And no wonder: if you pay per message or send and receive only a modest number of them, cell-phone text messages are astronomically expensive, byte for byte.

Twitter over the past hour or two has begun to send unsolicited texts to at least some people who didn't sign up for them (like us).

A cynic might wonder whether Twitter, which gets a cut of text-message revenue from U.S. wireless operators, engineered the "glitch" as part of its new push to drum up revenue. But longtime users of the service know it needs no ulterior motive to fail technically.

Still, the startup should make amends: It has a relationship with wireless carriers, and should leverage it to make sure affected users get full texting refunds. It's the least Silcon Valley's oh-so-perfect startup can do.

(Top pic by Nils Geylen on Flickr)

UPDATE: Here is a sampling of the chatter on Twitter. Some people report that texting was previously down for them and has been restored; others say they never signed up in the first place (including one woman who can't even receive texts). Is it possible so many people accidentally turned on Twitter texting when it was broken, forgot about it, and are now complaining when it has been turned back on? We doubt it. But we're also less than eager to accept a Twitter news meme at face value. Hopefully Twitter will clarify the situation soon.