Elon Musk offers to buy Twitter and take it private

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Twitter suffered an embarrassing technology failure today that temporarily broke links to outside websites and even to Twitter's own webpages. The problem lasted for about 45 minutes or so.

In our tests, clicking any link brought up this error message:

{"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","code":467}]}

Clicking that developer link didn't clear anything up while the problem was still happening because it brought up the same API error message. In addition to news articles and other outbound links, the error message appeared when we tried to click Twitter's terms of service, privacy policy, cookie policy, and other similar pages. Some images embedded in tweets were broken, and there were reports of TweetDeck being broken too.

We also got the error message when loading any Twitter page in a browser's incognito mode. It was still possible to view tweets in a browser tab where we were already logged in to Twitter, and the link problem was a trending topic of discussion.

Twitter's official support account acknowledged the problem before it was fixed. "Some parts of Twitter may not be working as expected right now," Twitter wrote. "We made an internal change that had some unintended consequences. We're working on this now and will share an update when it's fixed."

"This platform is so brittle (sigh). Will be fixed shortly," CEO Elon Musk wrote. He added later that a "small API change had massive ramifications. The code stack is extremely brittle for no good reason. Will ultimately need a complete rewrite."
I.e., their changes to API access bit themselves in the arse.

The last time I had a co-worker agitate for a “complete rewrite” of a complicated product, they were maybe 23 years old, and I gently explained that it just wasn’t going to happen — we had neither the time to do it, nor the mandate to do it, nor probably the test suite to validate that the rewritten thing behaved as its predecessor did.

EM has never developed anything like Twitter, nor had to maintain it. I don’t doubt it’s hard to evolve a thing when you’ve fired half the developers or more, and then frequently dictate big changes like who can access your public APIs.

But they’re not going to rewrite it. He may give Twitter devs the mandate to do it, but he won’t give them the time, their intellectual capital is crippled, and they’re burning cash. Twitter’s not a startup, and them quickly writing Twitter++ which works at scale is a fantasy.
 

CWNitz

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But they’re not going to rewrite it. He may give Twitter devs the mandate to do it, but he won’t give them the time, their intellectual capital is crippled, and they’re burning cash. Twitter’s not a startup, and them quickly writing Twitter++ which works at scale is a fantasy.
Or maybe he'll hire a team to rewrite Twitter, and we'll all have a good laugh when we watch the whole debacle from the sidelines.
 

Coupris Kineema

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Introversion

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Twitter’s website is breaking in novel new ways — and while the company managed to recover from its latest outage within a couple hours, the story behind how it broke suggests there are likely to be similar problems in the near future.

On Monday morning, Twitter users logged on to find a thicket of connected issues. Clicking on links would no longer open them; instead, users would see a mysterious error message reporting that “your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint.” Images stopped loading as well. Other users reported that they could not access TweetDeck, the Twitter-owned client for professional users.

Chaos took over the timeline, as users tweeted vociferously about the outage — often illustrating their points with images that no one could see, because they wouldn’t load.

In a tweet, the company offered the vaguest of explanations for what was happening.

“Some parts of Twitter may not be working as expected right now,” the company’s support account tweeted. “We made an internal change that had some unintended consequences.”

The change in question was part of a project to shut down free access to the Twitter API, Platformer can now confirm. On February 1, the company announced it will no longer support free access to its API, which effectively ended the existence of third-party clients and dramatically limited outside researchers’ ability to study the network. The company has been building a new, paid API for developers to work with.

But in a sign of just how deep Elon Musk’s cuts to the company have been, only one site reliability engineer has been staffed on the project, we’re told. On Monday, the engineer made a “bad configuration change” that “basically broke the Twitter API,” according to a current employee.

The change had cascading consequences inside the company, bringing down much of Twitter’s internal tools along with the public-facing APIs. On Slack, engineers responded with variations of “crap” and “Twitter is down – the entire thing” as they scrambled to fix the problem.

Elon Musk was furious, we’re told.
Odds are low that poor guy still has a job at Twitter.

Graveyard humor:
In many ways, Monday’s outage represented the culmination of Musk’s leadership at the company so far. In a single-minded effort to cut costs on his $44 billion purchase, he has been slashing the staff and reducing Twitter’s free offerings.

This paved the way for a single engineer to be staffed on a major project — one that is linked to several interconnected, critical systems that both users and employees depend on.

And with few knowledgeable workers on hand to restore service, it took Twitter all morning to fix the problem. “This is what happens when you fire 90 percent of the company,” another current employee says.

Inside Twitter’s HQ, however, the mood was almost light. “We’re laughing all the way down,” says a different current employee.
 
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Unimportant

No COVID yet. Still masking.
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Elmo is just like TFG: Every time you think he can't get any stupider, can't do something even more damaging, can't say something even more offensive.....he does. And every time you think that finally, finally, his latest whatever will be the last straw and even his gaggle of diehard fans will have to admit that the guy is a failure....they still cleave unto him.
 

Alessandra Kelley

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Elmo is just like TFG: Every time you think he can't get any stupider, can't do something even more damaging, can't say something even more offensive.....he does. And every time you think that finally, finally, his latest whatever will be the last straw and even his gaggle of diehard fans will have to admit that the guy is a failure....they still cleave unto him.
Sunk cost fallacy is heck of a drug.
 

ElaineA

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Elmo is just like TFG: Every time you think he can't get any stupider, can't do something even more damaging, can't say something even more offensive.....he does. And every time you think that finally, finally, his latest whatever will be the last straw and even his gaggle of diehard fans will have to admit that the guy is a failure....they still cleave unto him.
Sunk cost fallacy is heck of a drug.
It's okay. They'll all be "going to Mars" with him. 😉
 

frimble3

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A LIFE TIP (it may save yours): when a man takes a large, money-making enterprise and manages to run it into the ground in a matter of months, do not get into any spacefaring vessel he touts as 'the Future'. Also, do not move to any isolated base, even oxygenated, that he is offering as accommodation.
You want to be able to walk (or run) away when things go bad.
 

Albedo

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A LIFE TIP (it may save yours): when a man takes a large, money-making enterprise and manages to run it into the ground in a matter of months, do not get into any spacefaring vessel he touts as 'the Future'. Also, do not move to any isolated base, even oxygenated, that he is offering as accommodation.
You want to be able to walk (or run) away when things go bad.
Also, do NOT accept any brain implants.
 

dickson

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Lmao yes
If you read down into the US FDA's rejection of Neuralink human trials, it becomes clear they are concerned about (amongst other things) honest to God intracranial lithium fires.
Intercranial lithium fires! I wish I could think up something like that!