Twitter’s outage was apparently caused by a system change that started unexpectedly.
Twitter went down for users across the globe on October 15th, 2020. But according to the platform, the outage wasn’t due to a security breach—it came about thanks to internal issues at Twitter’s end.
Twitter Outage Attributed to a “System Change”
If you tried Tweeting during the outage, you were met with a message that read: “Something went wrong, but don’t fret—let’s give it another shot.” That message was seen by thousands of confused users who weren’t sure what went wrong.
Tweeting wasn’t the only thing affected by the outage. The Twitter feed also stopped refreshing, rendering the site totally unusable. You could only scroll through old Tweets that you probably already read.
According to Downdetector, the outage started around 5pm EST on the 15th, and lasted until almost 10pm EST. That’s five long hours for any Twitter addict.
Many users jumped to the conclusion that Twitter had been hacked. After all, the outage had strange timing. Twitter was in the midst of trying to block out a disputed New York Post article targeting Joe Biden’s son.
Twitter Support later sent out a Tweet acknowledging the outage, and reassuring its users that hackers aren’t to blame. The platform said that it didn’t “have any evidence of a security breach or hack.”
Most of you should be back to Tweeting. The outage was caused by a system change initiated earlier then planned, affecting most of our servers. We’re working hard to bring Twitter back to normal and expect things to be fully resolved in 1-2 hours. We appreciate your patience.
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) October 16, 2020
A couple of hours after that Tweet, Twitter continued the thread to announce that most users should “be back to Tweeting.” Twitter then went on to explain the cause of the outage, stating that “a system change initiated earlier than planned, affecting most of our servers.”
Michael Montano, the lead engineer at Twitter also sent out a Tweet in response to the blackout. Montano noted that the system change “was part of a planned migration that wasn’t quite ready to go live which we unintentionally triggered before we were ready.”
Unfortunately, the change emptied our caches (the things that keep Tweets ready to load quickly) and you all had trouble Tweeting and seeing Tweets. As our caches warmed back up, with our teams speeding up this process 🙏, Twitter has been restoring for the last few hours.
— Michael Montano (@michaelmontano) October 16, 2020
Montano also commented that the change emptied Twitter’s cache, preventing Tweets from sending and loading. Twitter seemed to have fixed the problem within several hours, but that’s still long enough to cause a stir in the Twitter community.
In a later Tweet, Montano went on to say that the Twitter team is “working on improving the reliability of our service so incidents like this don’t interrupt your Tweets.”
Twitter’s Outage Reminds Us to Take a Break
As annoying as social media outages are, they’re sometimes refreshing. Twitter’s blackout reminded us all to take a break from the nonsense that’s constantly plaguing Twitter.
Whether you directed your attention to a different social media platform, or just stayed away from social media altogether, you might’ve found that you didn’t even miss Twitter all that much.
Twitter is struggling, weighed down by trolls, extremists, and over-exuberant censorship. The only answer is to jump ship, but where should you go? These Twitter alternatives might be your best bet.
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