Why Was Twitter Down? According to Twitter, It Was Because "Reason"

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
July 26 2012 1:04 PM

Why Was Twitter Down? According to Twitter, It Was Because "Reason"

twitter screengrab
Well, that clears things up!

Twitter screengrab

Twitter has crashed so many times in its young history that it's hardly news anymore when it happens. The site's "fail whale" notice, which usually appears when it's over capacity, has become an Internet icon. Today, though, the site went down around 11:48 eastern time and no fail whale went up. Instead, many visitors to the Twitter homepage were greeted by the image shown in the screenshot above—which, if anything, only raises the bar for amusing error messages. 

Adding to the fun is the Twitter status page, which acknowledges that "users may be experiencing issues accessing Twitter"—and then offers a "tweet" button to make it easy for you to share the news of Twitter's outage on Twitter. Good luck with that!

Advertisement

For what it's worth, Twitter's press team doesn't seem to have any more information than the site itself. When I asked why it was down, a rep responded, "We're aware of the issue and are looking into it. Will let you know when we have an update. And keep an eye on status.twitter.com for updates as well." Oh, I am. And I'll also be holding Twitter to its commitment to have the site back up promptly in "deadline."

twitter status
Some 602 lucky tweeters have managed to tweet the news that Twitter isn't tweeting right now.

Screenshot

UPDATE: "Deadline" must have come and gone, because Twitter appears to be functioning properly again. No word yet on "reason," though.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Will Oremus is Slate's senior technology writer.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Global Marches Demand Action on Climate Change

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.