Twitter scrambles to fix meltdown as many are unable to tweet

Many Twitter users were unable to Tweet, follow accounts, or access their Direct Messages on Wednesday as Elon Musk’s own platform experienced a series of widespread technical issues.

“Twitter may not work as expected for some of you. Excuse the circumstances. We are aware of this and are working to fix this,” the company tweeted via its “Support” account.

Further details were not available Wednesday afternoon and an email requesting comment from the company’s press account went unanswered. Twitter has dissolved its media relations team.

Users first noticed the issue when they tried to tweet and received a message that they had reached their “tweet limit.”

While Twitter has capped the number of tweets an account can send for years, it’s 2,400 a day — or 100 an hour — far more than most regular, human-run accounts sent on the platform.

Accounts also had problems when trying to follow another Twitter user and received the message “You can no longer follow people at this time” with a link to the company Follow Limits Policy.

Twitter’s longstanding limit on how many accounts a single user can follow in a single day is 400 — again, more than a regular Twitter user would generally hit on any given day.

It’s not clear what caused Wednesday’s meltdown, but engineers and experts at Twitter have warned that the platform is at increased risk of fraying since Musk fired most of the people who worked to keep it up and running to keep.

Engineers left Twitter back in November described for The Associated Press why they expect significant inconvenience to the more than 230 million Twitter users now that well over two-thirds of Twitter’s core service engineers are gone before Musk.

While they don’t anticipate a near-term collapse, engineers said Twitter could get very rough around the edges — particularly if Musk makes major changes without much off-platform testing.

A Twitter engineer who had worked in core services told the AP in November that engineering team clusters had gone from about 15 people before Musk — not counting team leaders, all of whom were fired — to three or four before even more layoffs.

Then more institutional knowledge that cannot be replaced overnight left the door.

“Everything could break,” said the programmer.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission. Twitter scrambles to fix meltdown as many are unable to tweet

Sarah Y. Kim

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