Many Twitter users found themselves unable to tweet, follow accounts or access their direct messages on Wednesday as the Elon Musk-owned platform experienced a slew of widespread technical problems.
“Twitter may not be working as expected for some of you. Sorry for the trouble. We’re aware and working to get this fixed,” the company tweeted from its “support” account.
Further details were unavailable Wednesday and an email seeking comment from the company’s press account went unanswered. Twitter has dissolved its media relations team.
Users first noticed the problem when they tried to send tweets and received a message saying they had reached their “tweet limit.”
Twitter has long limited the number of tweets an account can send. It caps tweets at 2,400 per day — or 100 an hour — which is far more than most regular, human-run accounts send on the platform.
Users also had trouble when they tried to follow another Twitter user, seeing a message reading “You are unable to follow more people at this time” with a link to the company’s policy on follow limits.
Twitter’s long-standing limit on how many accounts a single user can follow in a single day is 400, which is also more than a regular Twitter user would generally add on any given day.
It is not clear what caused Wednesday’s meltdown, but Twitter engineers and experts have been warning that the platform is at an increased risk of fraying since Musk fired most of the people responsible for keeping it running.
In November, engineers who left Twitter told the Associated Press that they anticipated Twitter’s more than 230 million enduring considerable unpleasantness with more than two-thirds of the San Francisco-based company’s pre-Musk core services engineers gone.
While they don’t anticipate near-term collapse, the engineers said Twitter could get very rough at the edges — especially if Musk makes major changes without rigorous off-platform testing.
One Twitter engineer, who had worked in core services, told the AP in November that engineering team clusters were down from about 15 people pre-Musk — not including team leaders, who were all laid off — to three or four before even more resignations.
Then more institutional knowledge that can’t be replaced overnight walked out the door.
“Everything could break,” the programmer said.
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