Twitter's suffered a massive outage in several countries on Thursday evening, with users complaining that they were unable to send tweets and refresh their timelines. Most users, who tried to visit the service, were greeted by an error message. The company's mobile app also appeared to not be functioning properly.
The company confirmed that an "inadvertent change" made to its internal systems had caused the crashes throughout the US evening and Australian morning. The entire Twitter website went down for some time although the problem was addressed and fixed shortly. However, even then users were unable to tweet or retweet for more than an hour.
Those who tried to post on the site were met with an error message saying Twitter was "overcapacity", or a note simple saying: "Oops, something went wrong." The company's mobile app was also down during the period. The "notifications" and "mentions" feeds were also unavailable.
Twitter's API status website initially said everything was operational. Soon a note followed on the company's status website saying that it was investigating an irregularity with its application programming interface, or API. The site continued to malfunction periodically for a number of users. Users in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States were hit the most who reported most of the problems.
That said, Twitter's official status page said there was "no evidence this outage [was] caused by a security breach or hack. We're currently investigating internal root causes." The service appeared to have been at least partially restored for some users around 7 p.m. ET, after being down for more than an hour.
Bad Time for Twitter
This is the second time that such an outage occurred at Twitter's end. Twitter's last major outage occurred in February this year. However, at that time it still allowed users to circumvent that outage by scheduling tweets. Later as the company worked on resolving the issue, it tweeted: "The recent issue was caused by an inadvertent change we made to our internal systems. Twitter should be working for everyone within the next few hours."
Twitter definitely isn't having a great time. The outage comes just a day after the company made an unprecedented move to limit the spread of a controversial New York Post article that criticized US presidential candidate Joe Biden, sparking outrage among conservatives and a debate on how social media platforms should tackle misinformation in the lead-up to the US election.
Twitter blocked users from posting links to the story or photos from the unconfirmed report. Those who tried to share the controversial story on the platform were shown a message saying: "We can't complete this request because this link has been identified by Twitter or our partners as being potentially harmful."