Just a day after Twitter got caught up in an outrage cycle over whether or not it should allow leaks to a certain story and Senate Republicans floated the idea of sending a subpoena to CEO Jack Dorsey, the service is suddenly inaccessible for many people. While long-time Twitter users remember when the website’s “fail whale” made regular appearances, it’s usually stable these days, with the last major issue occurring as a result of that security breach in July.
Twitter’s API status page now reports the company is “Investigating Irregularity with Twitter APIs,” while the feeds appear to have gone dark around 5:35 PM ET, as noted by outage tracker Down Detector. We’ve contacted the company and will update this post when there are more details available.
The number one question, as always when Twitter goes down, is where we can go to talk about it while Twitter is down? Facebook? Discord? Reddit? Of course, people like Roberto Baldwin may find relief in the silence.
Twitter has been down for many of you and we’re working to get it back up and running for everyone.— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) October 15, 2020
We had some trouble with our internal systems and don’t have any evidence of a security breach or hack.
Update (6:40 PM): Per a post on Twitter’s developer forums, staff member Jessica Garson said “Thanks for reaching out, We are currently aware of this situation due to an outage and we’re working on resolving this shortly. A few endpoints seem to be coming back already.”
In a statement, a spokesperson said “We know people are having trouble Tweeting and using Twitter. We’re working to fix this issue as quickly as possible. We’ll share more when we have it and Tweet from @TwitterSupport when we can – stay tuned.”
Twitter’s official status page has also been updated to reflect the incident, and specifically notes “We have no evidence this outage is caused by a security breach or hack. We’re currently investigating internal root causes and will share more soon.”
Update (7:20 PM ET): We haven’t received an official update yet, but at least for some users the service is starting to work again. It’s restored enough that Twitter sent an update from its @TwitterSupport account, saying “Twitter has been down for many of you and we’re working to get it back up and running for everyone. We had some trouble with our internal systems and don’t have any evidence of a security breach or hack.”
Update (8:30 PM ET): According to Twitter Communications, the problem was caused by “an inadvertent change we made to our internal systems.” Everything should be back up and running soon, as many people report the service is working but they don’t have access to saved bookmarks on Twitter.
Update (10/16 12:20 AM ET): Twitter’s status page now lists the issue as resolved, and it appears that Bookmarks are working again as well. Engineering lead Michael Montano explained the issue as part of a planned migration that went awry.
The system change mentioned here was part of a planned migration that wasn’t quite ready to go live which we unintentionally triggered before we were ready.— Michael Montano (@michaelmontano) October 16, 2020
As soon as we identified the issue, the team began work to restore our services and bring things back up. https://t.co/ecb6xtw9BI
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. https://t.co/3YFaIsH3TH— Twitter Comms (@TwitterComms) October 16, 2020