On Thursday, many Twitter users were left in confusion after they were unable to use the platform for more than an hour. The users received error messages on attempts to log onto the platform. Twitter responded saying that the outage was caused by an inadvertent change in it internal systems; the service was later restored and thereafter users were able to log in to the site. Although Twitter’s last major outage in February allowed user to circumvent it by allowing them to schedule tweets; this one didn’t have a usable workaround.
What we know
According to DownDetector.com, reports of problems with Twitter started pouring in at about 21:30 GMT on Thursday. Users from Around the world from Kenya, Asia, Europe, Australia, and the Americas had reported being unable to use the platform. In the US, there were tens of thousands of reports citing the problem. The users were sent error messages including “Something went wrong” and “Tweet failed: There’s something wrong, please try again later”. NetBlocks also confirmed that the incident was not related to any country-level internet censorship or disruption.
No security breach
Twitter said there was no evidence of any security breach on the platform. However, the outage has raised some concerns among users and analysts; it is not the first time Twitter is experiencing major issues on their platform. In july, hackers hijacked Twitter’s internal systems and took over accounts owned by some the platform’s most prominent users. Analysts and law makers are urging Twitter “to do more” in countering these problems. Furthermore, there has been concern around Twitter’s mid-level employees having powerful access to site wide admin tools that can easily fall into wrong hands; putting millions of user’s information at risk. Users have also questioned the lack of transparency around these breaches and ourtages and are demanding more information and disclosures about these events.
Concerns about the US elections
Twitter and other Social media platforms are under intense pressure to prevent their platforms from being compromised ahead of the November 3rd US elections; while also dealing with the the misinformation and fake news problem. In the last US election, social media platforms were accused of allowing foreign agents (Russians) to meddle in the election through misinformation, bots and fake news. Therefore, the twitter outage has attracted more scrutiny from analysts on the security of the platform. Especially because it is happening just months to the US elections