Twitter experienced several different types of outages today, including broken links, buffering images, and a shut down of Tweet Deck, which allows users to plan their tweets to send in advance. This comes after mounting pressure on the social media platform, from the ongoing House Oversight Committee hearing to CEO Elon Musk laying off hundreds of employees and insisting to be followed around by bodyguards at all times.
The outages caused uproar on the popular social media app today, particularly for journalists and media professionals who need to post outbound links and images throughout the day.
You can't post images on Twitter right now, likely because the site's URL shortener/redirect service (https://t.co/lxSJ4DFhQA) is down. Don't want to be controversial, but I don't think this is good for https://t.co/KFR89a1fA2.
— Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 6, 2023
One user took to the platform to post a controversial image of Elon Musk standing next to Ghislaine Maxwell. Maxwell is the ex-girlfriend of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was recently convicted of sex trafficking alongside the late Epstein. The image spoke volumes to many on the character of Musk. Many felt it was particularly ironic due to Twitter’s long standing role as the preferred social media for journalists to distribute news, while Maxwell kept her trafficking a secret for decades.
just checking if images are working again pic.twitter.com/PSv3ROV2Ti
— joe (@goulcher) March 6, 2023
Musk previously acquired the bulk of his wealth through his cofounding of Tesla, a luxury electric car, artificial intelligence, and clean energy company. Musk’s status as the richest person in the world has ethically come into question lately, primarily over the several changes he’s made at Twitter.
Musk has laid off hundreds of skilled engineers who were with the company for years. He also notably changed the verification process, so that now, any user can buy their way into a blue check mark. The verification process was previously involved a stronger vetting process, and many users have feared for the spread of misinformation in the months since this policy change.
While Musk does have experience investing in the tech industry, he has little experience with the ethics of social media. Twitter has become a contentious space since Musks’s purchase, and today’s blackouts have many users feeling that Musks’s alleged poor company management and delegation of tasks are what led to the failures.
“So did Twitter images just stop working?”
Twitter HQ: pic.twitter.com/gpTeJFWMYo
— NUFF (@nuffsaidny) March 6, 2023
The outages opened the floodgates for a barrage of criticisms for the app’s typical functions, and of Musk’s broken promises. One such promise was for users to receive a share of the ad revenue that they generate.
On February 3rd, Elon promised that "starting today" Twitter users will get a share of the ad revenue they generate.
On February 21st, Elon promised that Twitter's entire codebase would be published open source "next week"
It's now March 6th, and none of these have happened. pic.twitter.com/CqEuxNVCrT
— William LeGate (@williamlegate) March 6, 2023
Workplace tensions as a result of the company shake up are reportedly at an all time high. Musk has become so paranoid about the potential of employees raising a “coup” that he has hired two bodyguards to follow him throughout company headquarters.
BREAKING: Republican billionaire Elon Musk is humiliated as it’s revealed that he has become so paranoid that he has hired two bodyguards and ordered them to even accompany him into the bathroom — reportedly he fears a “coup” at Twitter. RT IF YOU ARE NO FAN OF ELON MUSK!
— Occupy Democrats (@OccupyDemocrats) March 6, 2023
While the outages have now been fixed, many feel that they still reflect greater issues present in the company.
Scoop: Twitter’s latest outage is the culmination of Elon Musk’s attempts to squeeze money out of the platform and his rampant firing of employees. Here’s the inside scoop on what went down and why links and images were broken this morning: https://t.co/vgYN4Xaxdo
— Zoë Schiffer (@ZoeSchiffer) March 6, 2023
Others point to Musks’s other business ventures, which have been financially successful, but not always safe for users.
I'm beginning to understand why his cars are always being recalled or simply bursting into flames. #TwitterDown
— Brett Pransky (@BrettPransky) March 6, 2023
Elon Musk offered an explanation for the debacle on his own Twitter account, but tech experts say that the errors still could have been avoided with proper internal testing.
Elon’s explanation seems to be deflecting from the actual cause.
It appears Musk just didn’t understand the dependencies in his tech stack and inadvertently ordered the shutting off of Twitter’s internal access to their own API when trying to cut access to free external users. pic.twitter.com/0ZpwYI6LoO
— Ahmed Baba (@AhmedBaba_) March 6, 2023
The controversy around Twitter continues to swirl, and more and more former employees are speaking out regarding the whirlwind of layoffs.
After buying Twitter, Elon Musk pushed out employees while repeatedly warning that Twitter could go bankrupt. These former staffers describe the whiplash. https://t.co/RUN8fgMUaF pic.twitter.com/NlFmBqpLK0
— CNN (@CNN) March 6, 2023
Elon Musk seems to always fire back aggressively at critics, including the BBC.
Sorry for turning Twitter from nurturing paradise into place that has … trolls pic.twitter.com/HaWl1jPfOm
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2023
Musk is yet to face legal repercussions for the layoffs, outages, or numerous other issues with the platform.