Move fast and break things certainly seems to be the motto.
This is an excerpt from TEH Podcast #176 in which I discuss the possibility of technical issues interrupting Twitter, possibly taking it down for an extended time.
If you’re a Twitter user — whether you plan to leave it or not — there’s something I think you need to do.
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For the way things seem to be shaking out. You may not be leaving Twitter, but Twitter could be leaving you.
Two weeks ago, we talked about Twitter. We felt we had to. We did good by not talking about it last week, the only people in the world extra. Before we even started: “don’t talk about it. Let’s not talk about that. No, let’s just not.”
Unfortunately, I have to I have to talk about it again today. That’s fine. But this time, it’s not so much about what’s been happening with with Twitter, specifically, or speculation or any of that kind of stuff.
I have been obviously, talking to a lot of people who are on Twitter, reading a lot of things about what’s going on with Twitter, their most recent changes their most recent failures, the scariness of what’s going on over there.
If you are a if you have a Twitter account, even if you don’t plan to leave Twitter, because not everybody has a lot of people are but not everybody is.
But even if you don’t plan to leave, please set up an alternative anyway. Don’t really care where, you know, I’m I’m on a bunch of different things. But you know, it could be Mastodon, it could be counter social, it could be Instagram, it could be anything that makes sense for you. And the people that you eventually would want to connect to.
Because the the way things seem to be shaking out. You may not be leaving Twitter, but Twitter could be leaving you.
It’s it’s really kind of weird for a couple of different reasons. A lot of the technical and support staff at Twitter have apparently been let go. And to to a scary extreme, it seems like at least the stories would have us have us believed. And at the same time, they’re making changes, or random changes. What’s that phrase move fast and break things? Well, they’re moving fast, and they’re breaking things.
And as just one example, I think it was yesterday or the day before, they were instructed to remove, quote unquote, you know, 1000 different microservices from the back end of Twitter because it was supposedly slowing it down. Unfortunately, one of those back end micro services that Twitter uses was the service that sends SMS text messages.
Now, there are two ways that text messages, either are or at least were used by Twitter. It used to be back when Twitter started, it was hooked into text messaging, you could get all your tweets by text. And you could tweet by text if you was originally Yeah, I’m not sure that’s still there. And maybe the fact that it’s not there as makes this somewhat legacy code.
However, if you turn off the ability to send a text message, as it turns out, you also turn off the ability to send somebody their two factor authentication code via text message. So anybody that had two factor turned on, and they only had text message as an option. They were either locked out of their account, if they were logged out. Or Everybody was saying, don’t log out of your account, because if you do, you won’t be able to get back in.
Now, presumably, that either has been fixed or will be fixed or whatever. I definitely have two factor turned on for Twitter. But I’m using Google Authenticator, two factor authentication.
But the point here is that, yeah, they’re breaking things. And the concern is with the dearth of staff, the staff that’s been leaving, they eventually some key personnel that actually understand the technology behind Twitter and how it works. With the number of those people that are leaving at some point soon, it seems likely that something will break that they won’t know how to fix, or they won’t know how to fix quickly.
And that means that Twitter could go down for an extended period of time, be it a few hours a few days, to be honest, having it … the possibility exists, that it could go down and not come back up.
All that being said, I honestly don’t know. I can’t say that at all whether that’s likely or not. But what I will say is that it’s possible … certainly more possible than it’s ever been. And given the number of people that are using Twitter for a variety of different things and the number of connections that are happening on Twitter and the amount of information we’re getting from Twitter.
My recommendation, my very strong recommendation is, like I said, set up your backup now. Be prepared. Let people know what that backup is so that if Twitter goes down, they have a way to find you at this other location.
Again, where you go, how you let people know, honestly, it’s all up to you, whatever makes sense for you and your circle of contacts. But unless you’re ready for Twitter to simply disappear without a replacement in place, I would be prepared.
And like I said, I personally am prepared. I’m personally finding Mastodon, probably the most interesting of the various alternatives that I’ve looked into. But again, that’s me. It may be something entirely different for you. But please prepare for Twitter to go away. It just I don’t know what’s I don’t know what’s going to happen there. But it seems risky to rely on it even more risky than usual.
Oh, yeah. Oh, especially for people you know, that have it they rely on it for their business or their livelihood or, you know, they, I mean in any, you know, anything.
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