Twitter appears to be struggling with intermittent issues primarily affecting its desktop website, at least based on reports from users. The problems are varied, and at this time seem to impact the loading of content in addition to causing random instances of being logged out of accounts, rate limit errors, and more. The issues come amid a day of troll posting from new owner Elon Musk, who has faced growing frustration from some Tesla investors and criticism over his preoccupation with things like the controversial and heavily criticized Twitter Files.
That the platform managed to make it this long into Musk’s tenure without any widespread outages is surprising, at least when one considers the claims that had been made by insiders and former employees in the days immediately following the billionaire’s acquisition. Following a massive round of layoffs that purged around half of the company’s workforce, Musk went on tweeting sprees that seemed to revolve around tossing out seat-of-the-pants ideas, including some that many had pointed out would end badly — and that, as predicted, didn’t work out so well for Twitter or the brands that suffered as a result.
Reports of website problems have skyrocketed
The popular website Down Detector, which allows the public to report issues they’re having with services and platforms, shows a massive spike in outage and bug reports from Twitter users. Starting at around 7 p.m. Eastern Time, Down Detector’s Twitter reports climbed from a baseline of 14 to more than 10,000 over the span of approximately 40 minutes. At the time of writing, 81% of the reports from users indicate problems with the desktop website rather than the mobile apps.
Musk had quipped in a tweet on Christmas Eve that “understanding how Twitter works” feels like a “fractal of Rube Goldberg machines,” noting in the same thread that Twitter works regardless “even after I disconnected one of the more sensitive server racks.” It’s unclear when Musk is being serious and when he’s attempting to be humorous, but regardless, the current problems aren’t reassuring in light of concerns some former and current employees have expressed over the past several weeks about Twitter’s stability going into 2023.
In mid-November 2022, Elon Musk sent a bizarre late-night message to Twitter staff instructing them to agree to his Twitter 2.0 vision and acknowledge that they’d have to work “extremely hardcore,” or accept a severance package and make an exit from the company. More engineers than expected reportedly decided to leave rather than put up with the nonsense, reportedly leading to Musk having to ask some of them to stay. That mass exodus came only days after insiders claimed that Twitter was exploring potential cuts to the company’s infrastructure, including extra server capacity, in a mission to reduce costs.