X suffered another outage: What we know so far

21 Dec 2023

Image: © lesslemon/Stock.adobe.com

The outage lasted for roughly an hour and quickly garnered nearly 100,000 reports of issues, but the cause remains unclear.

X – formerly known as Twitter – appears to be operating as normal after suffering a global outage earlier today (21 December).

The outage appeared to be brief but widespread, with 95,000 reports of issues, according to DownDetector. The bulk of outage reports came from US users, but thousands of users in other countries including the UK, Canada and France also reported issues.

During the outage, X users reportedly were unable to view posts, though some examples show users managing to post about the outage while it was ongoing. Users of X Pro – a new version of Tweetdeck – saw a message that said “waiting for posts”, Reuters reports.

An error image shared by The Verge showed a “this page is down” message if users clicked outgoing links on X.

The outage appeared to only last for an hour, but the cause is unknown. Media sites asking for comment from X and its support teams received an automated reply.

Outages on the platform owned by Elon Musk have become more common this year. The site suffered two global outages within a week in March. At the time, the site’s support account posted that some parts of the platform were “not working as expected” due to an internal change that had “some unintended consequences”.

In March, The Platformer reported that the bug occurred because of a mistake by the platform’s site reliability engineer, who was operating alone after Musk initiated a wave of layoffs across the company.

Meanwhile, the European Commission recently started formal proceedings against X to assess whether the platform has violated the terms of the Digital Services Act (DSA).

Its formal investigation into the platform will look in depth at some of the measures X has taken to increase the transparency of the site. The company has already published a transparency report based on the EU’s requirements, but the bloc is concerned that X has not given researchers sufficient access to its data.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic