Twitter’s Latest Outage Caused by Single Engineer’s Mistake: Report

  • A mistake by a single Twitter engineer prompted Monday’s service outage, Platformer reported. 
  • Twitter users received an error message when they tried to view links and photos on Monday.
  • Twitter owner Elon Musk has cut thousands from Twitter’s headcount since acquiring the company.

A sole Twitter engineer was responsible for Twitter’s high-profile outage on Monday, Platformer reported.

A site reliability engineer tasked with shutting down free access to Twitter’s API made a “bad configuration change” that “basically broke the Twitter API,” Platformer reported a current employee as saying.

On Monday, Twitter users found themselves confronted with an error message when they tried to view links or photos. Twitter put the issue down to an “internal change” that caused “unintended consequences.”

Representatives for Twitter didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment, made outside US business hours.

Twitter owner Elon Musk addressed Monday’s outage in a tweet posted after the social-network was back up and running. In a reply to investor Marc Andreessen, Musk said: “A small API change had massive ramifications. The code stack is extremely brittle for no good reason. Will ultimately need a complete rewrite.”

One employee told Platformer: “There’s so much tech debt from Twitter 1.0 that if you make a change right now, everything breaks.” 

Waves of layoffs at Twitter have left the company with fewer than 550 full-time engineers, according to Platformer. Musk has cut thousands from Twitter’s headcount since completing his acquisition of the company in October.

Experts and employees have warned for some time that the massive headcount cuts could affect the reliability of the social-media platform.

Twitter insiders previously told Insider’s Kali Hays that although a complete failure of Twitter was unlikely, technical issues could pile up to the point that the site could no longer function reliably.

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