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June 22, 2012

Bug causes Twitter to crash for several hours

Twitter was inaccessible for web users for several hours due to a “cascading bug.”

By Tineka Smith

At around 9:00 am PDT on Thursday, the microblogging site was down for several hours. Rumours circulated that the site was due to a hack, Twitter’s new office, Euro 2012 or GIF avatars.

Mazen Rawashdeh, VP of Engineering at Twitter says that the issue was a cascading bug in one of their infrastructure components and not by a hack.

"A cascading bug is a bug with an effect that isn’t confined to a particular software element, rather its effect "cascades" into other elements as well," says Rawashdeh on the site’s blog. "One of the characterics of such a bug is that it can have a significant impact on all users, worldwide, which was the case today. As soon as we discovered it we took corrective actions, which included rolling back to a previous stable version of Twitter."

The recovered had some trouble recovering after the bug was discovered but was fully recovered a little after 11:00am PDT.

When the site was working again scores of Twitterers expressed their feelings about the site being down with some comparing having no Twitter to having no oxygen.


"We are currently conducting a comprehensive review to ensure that we can avoid this chain of events in the future," says Rawashdeh.

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Twitter says they have had at least 99.96% site reliability and stability in the past six months.

Please follow this author on Twitter @Tineka_S or comment below.

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