Twitter faced another major global outage this week, with users reporting that their timelines were not loading on either its web or mobile apps.
Although the outage lasted for about three hours, an eternity in Internet time, TweetDeck (the social media dashboard app for managing of Twitter accounts) was reportedly unaffected.
According to outage monitor website, DownDetector, people from the US, the UK, Japan, and India, were reporting issues with the site starting at approximately 5AM ET.
About three weeks ago, a system glitch prevented some individual and business users from tweeting by erroneously saying that they had reached their “daily limit for sending Tweets”.
Twitter also faced global outages in November and December, with the latter being attributed to backend server changes. The latest outage had many users facing the “Welcome to Twitter” message. Some were faced with broken “Following” and “For You” timelines.
The Twitter Support account hasn’t mentioned the issue at all. There is widespread speculation that Elon Musk’s takeover and staff layoffs are behind Twitter’s recent problems. The company’s staff of around 7,500 employees, has now been cut down to less than 2,000 personnel.
In other updates related to the platform, the Twitter Safety team announced the site’s new zero tolerance policy towards violent speech. It pledges to suspend any user account which issues tweets containing violent threats or wishes of harm, glorifies violence or attempts to incite violence.
Previously, accounts with tweets that merely “wished harm” weren’t in danger of being banned. Twitter has now made it an actionable offense. Even tweeting in coded language (dog whistles) that indirectly incites violence will now be categorized as a violation.
There are some exceptions, of course. Twitter will not label violent hyperbolic and consensual speech between friends as an offense. Neither will it interfere with expressions of violent speech in the context of discussions surrounding video games or sporting events.
This leniency is also being extended to figures of speech, satire or artistic expression within the context of the user merely expressing their point of view.