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Twitter Downed by Bug

Danny Goodwin
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twitter-bird-new-june2012Twitter blamed an internal error for a large outage that took the popular microblogging service offline for a couple of hours today.

The outage began after noon Eastern Time, before service was briefly restored to its 140 million+ users about an hour later, only to go down for a second time just a half hour later. By 2:08 p.m., it was all systems tweet, leading to #WhenTwitterWentDown and #WhileTwitterWasDown becoming trending topics in the aftermath.

"Today's outage is due to a cascaded bug in one of our infrastructure components," the company said shortly after service had been restored, emphasizing that the site wasn’t hacked.

The cascaded software bug caused a failure across other systems, which lead to an outage or slowdown for the entire service, Twitter explained

"One of the characteristics of such a bug is that it can have a significant impact on all users, worldwide, which was the case today," Twitter explained in blog post. "As soon as we discovered it, we took corrective actions, which included rolling back to a previous stable version of Twitter."

Twitter fails have been extremely rare this year.

"Twitter's website has had more downtime today than it had the entire year to date before today," Peter Alguacil, an analyst at online monitoring firm Pingdom, told USA Today.

Twitter echoed that, noting “For the past six months, we’ve enjoyed our highest marks for site reliability and stability ever: at least 99.96% and often 99.99%. In simpler terms, this means that in an average 24-hour period, twitter.com has been stable and available to everyone for roughly 23 hours, 59 minutes and 40-ish seconds. Not today though.”

How did you survive the great Twitter outage of '12?


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