On 12th August 2009, the song was leaked via BitTorrent. A text file accompanying the leaked track contained a cryptic poem, reference to a release date of 17 August, and multiple uses of the phrase 'Wall of Ice'. The file also featured ASCII art, which resembled that later officially released by the band.

Fan speculation subsequently centred on the possibility that an EP entitled Wall of Ice would be released on 17 August.

Instead, on that date, Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood posted a note on the band's blog Dead Air Space announcing that 'These Are My Twisted Words' was available free from the website as a standalone download or a torrent hosted by Mininova, free of charge. The download came with various artwork pictures by Stanley Donwood and Thom Yorke to be printed on tracing paper and put 'in an order that pleases you'.

Nowhere did the band acknowledge the initial leak of the song, and the meaning and authorship of the poem and other references in the leaked song's text file remain a mystery.

Some have speculated that, for reasons unknown, the band leaked the song itself, following the unconventional self-release of their last album, In Rainbows.