Twitter blames global outage on cascading bug

Twitter has blamed a global outage on an internal bug, scotching rumours that the service had been hacked.

Twitter blames global outage on cascading bug

The site went down for more than an hour and a half yesterday.

The Telegraph among others had claimed hackers were responsible, but Twitter said a bug in a software update had caused the crash.

“We discovered that Twitter was inaccessible for all web users, and mobile clients were not showing new Tweets. We immediately began to investigate the issue and found that there was a cascading bug in one of our infrastructure components,” the company said in a blog post.

“This wasn’t due to a hack, or our new office or Euro 2012 or GIF avatars, as some have speculated.”

A ‘cascading bug’ is a bug with an effect that isn’t confined to a particular software element, but rather its effect “cascades” into other elements

The company apologised for the downtime and claimed that it was the first disruption in six months, during which the company had enjoyed its best levels of availability.

“For the past six months, we’ve enjoyed our highest marks for site reliability and stability ever: at least 99.96% and often 99.99%,” the company said. “Not today though.”

According to Twitter, it resolved the issue by switching to a previous, stable version of Twitter, explaining that the bug effected multiple software elements.

“A ‘cascading bug’ is a bug with an effect that isn’t confined to a particular software element, but rather its effect ‘cascades’ into other elements as well,” the company said. “One of the characteristics of such a bug is that it can have a significant impact on all users, worldwide, which was the case today.”

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