When Twitter Fails Itself

Or, see what happens when you fire thousands of employees willy-nilly.
A 3D render of Twitter's logo on a blue background
(Roman Martyniuk)

It’s all too easy to dump on Twitter these days as the Elon Musk-owned service continues its downward spiral. Every day seems to bring on new developments, be it another round of firings or Twitter getting sued by yet another landlord.

During this time, however, I’ve never really experienced any of the technical or performance issues that have plagued others. Until earlier today, that is, when accessing Twitter’s homepage in my web browser returned this error instead of my expected newsfeed:

	"errors": [
			"message":"Your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint, please see https://developer.twitter.com/en/docs/twitter-api for more information",

(While I could access Twitter and view tweets on my iPhone, there were still some noticeable and significant issues with Twitter’s mobile version, like images not loading and external links not working.)

A plain English reading of the above error would suggest that Twitter was locked out of its own API — which, if you know anything about software development, is just a really bizarre notion. But in light of Elon Musk’s various decisions since acquiring Twitter, like firing thousands of employees (including engineers overseeing critical functions), it’s not really that surprising. Rather, it seems like an inevitability.

Twitter’s homepage finally became accessible again after about an hour — which is practically an eternity in social media terms — so things are back to “normal,” such as it is. But if Twitter had gone down for good, it seems rather apropos that it would’ve disappeared into the ether with nothing to mark its passage but a single, simple error message on an otherwise blank screen, the logical conclusion of an arc instantiated by a rich guy so convinced of his own genius that he can’t see past his own petulance and narcissism.

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