back to article Twitter is just randomly deleting people's lists – and no one knows why

Twitter has silently, and without warning, deleted reams of lists users have spent months curating. These lists are used by journalists, activists, and loads of other people, to organize and manage twits they follow and aggregate their tweets, links, photos, and videos. They are, in a way, personalized RSS feeds of information …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Trollface

    Well... you get what you pay for...

    And that's the entire problem.

    More and more people relying on all of these so-called "free" services.

    But that doesn't stop people from complaining obviously...

    1. redpawn Silver badge

      Re: Well... you get what you pay for...

      Paying for software guarantees nothing. Check the EULA. Search El Reg. for paid for problem services and software. And yes, there are many good free software packages.

      1. petur

        Re: Well... you get what you pay for...

        indeed, the problem isn't free or paying, but closed or open.

        If you can't export your data, you're screwed

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Well... you get what you pay for...

          generally you can't export your data if you don't own it - many "free" services, not mentioning a particular image hosting site... apparently own your IP as soon as you upload it and give them free use for more or less any purpose. This does not preclude paid-for services double gouging you by doing the same.

          as far as I can see the public will choose convenience over security or service, or T&C's almost every time.

  2. David 132 Silver badge
    Trollface

    This is terrible.

    I find myself convulsed with an overwhelming sense of apathy.

    I will now try to empathise.

    "Those poor, poor Twitter users, thrown into this nightmare scenario. Oh, the horror."

    Was that convincing enough?

    1. Martin 47

      Re: This is terrible.

      Well I'm convinced

    2. Mark 110

      Re: This is terrible.

      I am devastated. I predict a riot!!!

      1. Flakk
        Trollface

        Re: This is terrible.

        I predict a riot!!!

        That, or a furious hashtag campaign.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is terrible.

        "... I predict a riot!!!"

        I will make sure this happens, just as soon as twitter recovers my list of fellow anarchists so that I can organise things.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: This is terrible.

      s/Twitter/iOS

  3. frank ly

    I assume .....

    .... that you can't do a backup onto your PC? Is it possible to load anything from your PC to Twitter or vice versa?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    _BACKUPS_

    Tough love, but if you've left a decade of work in an 11 year old free cloud service and never backed it up anywhere else, you have other lessons to focus on. I sincerely hope these people get their lists back, but seriously, if it's important to you, it's important enough to back it up yourself.

  5. J. R. Hartley

    A decade of work stored on Twitter?

    What a fucking idiot.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A decade of work stored on Twitter?

      The people we're dealing with here are not just those whose worldview centers around Twitter, they also have faith that iOS is the center of the IT world:

      "There is currently a bug affecting lists on Twitter for iOS, but people should still be able to see their lists on twitter.com"

      What could possibly

      1. Anonymous Coward
        FAIL

        Re: A decade of work stored on Twitter?

        It's funny, isn't it, how a human twitter aggregator can call themself a journalist without any shame or irony.

        1. AndyS

          Re: A decade of work stored on Twitter?

          > It's funny, isn't it, how a human twitter aggregator can call themself a journalist without any shame or irony.

          Right, I don't use Twitter, and can't really be bothered with it, but is it beyond comprehension that journalists would use it as a tool to gather information?

          If a journalist read a book on a topic, would you complain that all they ever do is regurgitate published works?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: A decade of work stored on Twitter?

            If a journalist read a book on a topic, would you complain that all they ever do is regurgitate published works?

            No.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More Social Engineering

    from Twitter, FB and the rest.

    You, repeat You are their product. You and your life in its entirety. There laid out for them to grab, churn and sell to the highest bidder.

    You have no control. you are the subjects of their Social Engineering experiments. They will manipulate you in ways that you cannot imagine even in your wildest dreams.

    Proud to have been free of social media for... well forever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More Social Engineering

      Proud to have been free of social media for... well forever.

      Ditto. Mainly because I'm not social, but that turns out to be a good thing now :).

  7. ma1010
    Alert

    Welcome to the Cloud...

    Yes, indeed, have information critically important to you (thousands of hours worth of work would sound a bit critical to me) stored out "in the cloud" where you have NO control of any of that data. Nor, apparently, a local copy of that data.

    Reminds me of that old saw about all the eggs in one basket.

    I'm sorry for those who lost data, but really, what can you expect to happen to your data when you have NO control over it and access to it can be denied or the data deleted at any time by some third party you have no control over? If your data is not backed up in at least two places, and at least one of them is under your physical control (and anything not under physical control is under enforceable, legal contract), it's not backed up. Expect the worst, because it's not a matter of if, but when it happens.

    1. Matt 18
      Facepalm

      Re: Welcome to the Cloud...

      "But I thought Twitter would be around for ever"

      Said noone worth their salt anyway.

  8. LDS Silver badge

    "were a critical professional tool"

    Which says a lot about what means being a "professional" journalist today...

  9. Chris G Silver badge

    Damn

    I have lost my Tweet list ' The Wisdom by Tweet of President Trump'

    Luckily it didn't contain much.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Damn

      So how much excrement would hit the rotating air movement device if the Donald lost his "list"?

      1. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Damn

        You would see a lot of angry tweets threatening sanctions and military action against twitter and the norks.

        The norks because they must be involved somewhere along the line.

        1. Sherrie Ludwig

          Re: Damn

          "You would see a lot of angry tweets threatening sanctions and military action against twitter and the norks.

          The norks because they must be involved somewhere along the line."

          And President Obama, and Hillary. Because they are to blame for everything, according to tiny hands.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Damn

        So how much excrement would hit the rotating air movement device if the Donald lost his "list"?

        Twitter losing all his subscribers would probably put them in line for a Nobel Peace price.

  10. Craig McGill 1

    Give the users a break

    Lot of snobbery on here. Lists are actually incredibly useful, especially when combined with Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. Great for curating lists of worthwhile people to follow.

    Having said that, yet again this shows - along with the poor handling of name selling - that there's a total lack of business savvy in that place.

    1. Mark 110

      Re: Give the users a break

      Its not snobbery. Its just we aren't interested. I logged in once, couldn't work it out - just seemed to be people tweeting links to crap stuff. Logged out again. Never went back.

      1. 's water music
        Joke

        Re: Give the users a break

        Its not snobbery. Its just we aren't interested. I logged in once, couldn't work it out - just seemed to be people tweeting links to crap stuff. Logged out again. Never went back.

        Indeed. I am so uninterested I won't even comment here.

        Wait, what?

        In fact I won't even tell you that I gave up watching television years ago.

        Bugger!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Give the users a break

      Great for curating lists of worthwhile people to follow.

      I am probably biased, but if they're on Twitter they're not worth following. Especially if they're orange.

    3. Flakk

      Re: Give the users a break

      Tweetdeck? Didn't Twitter kill that?

      1. dotdan

        Re: Give the users a break

        It's at https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/ for me, and works

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Give the users a break

      "Lists are actually incredibly useful"

      If so, why leave them on someone else's computer?

    5. FatGerman

      Re: Give the users a break

      >> Great for curating lists of worthwhile people to follow.

      You don't need a list for that. One sheet of bogroll would more than suffice.

    6. Lysenko

      Re: Lot of snobbery on here

      Backing up (allegedly) critical data is snobbery in your book? Hmmmm. I hope I'm not a customer of whichever egalitarian organisation you're building systems for. If you have no backups then you're playing Russian Roulette and sooner or later you're going to win.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only there was a social media platform you could go and complain about such things

  12. DaddyHoggy

    People who don't know and/or don't care how creating lists on Twitter actually works laughing at people who do, while, somewhat ironically, saying they don't care, except they care enough to read an article on a platform they apparently don't use, and then even have time to comment...

    How odd, but increasingly 'El Reg commentator' (usually anonymous).

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "except they care enough to read an article on a platform they apparently don't use"

      You don't get it?

      "laughing at people"

      That's why we read it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I've got one list on Twitter and it's called "Idiots" or trends as they like to call it.

    3. Adrian 4 Silver badge

      @DaddyHoggy:

      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Schadenfreude

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hurray for using the correct demonym

    They called Twitter users twits.

  14. dotdan

    I had six private lists and two were made public over a month ago. I couldn't change the public/private status back.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      #noonecares

      1. dotdan

        Well you did, enough, to read the article, then the comments, then post one.

        The article said "For the past several days..." and I added a note that it has been happening for longer than that. No big deal to me, and I didn't expect you to care, but still, I'm sure you're a funny and popular guy.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          #andstillnoonecares

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So did those that lost their twitter feeds gain part of their real life back?

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      While Twitter was down...

      "So did those that lost their twitter feeds gain part of their real life back?"

      While Twitter was down I got a new job, got married and learned how to play the bagpipes -- @flamingowurst

  16. Bob Dole (tm)
    Coffee/keyboard

    I keep thinking..

    I keep thinking about trying Twitter. Then .. I just don't. Life seems better this way.

  17. Someone Else Silver badge
    Coat

    ...but Herr Lügenführer's lists remain remarkably untouched...

  18. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Treny word use doesn't necessarily mean what it says

    "Twitter has silently, and without warning, deleted reams of lists users have spent months curating."

    Curating means taking care of things. Simply building a list of stuff perceived to be important without backing it up doesn't really amount to taking care.

  19. The Nazz

    In the style of Twitter i'll just offer ...

    #whatatool.

    Note for Ms Wolf : In the Yorkshire sense, love.

  20. John Crisp

    No trust?

    "I can't trust the work I do using info from Twitter."

    FTFY

    And neither can anyone else trust your work if you're using it as a credible source.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: No trust?

      While I agree, it's amazing how many news sites quote the Twats..er.. Tweets for their articles.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It is a shame that virtual items are .....

    ..... not considered property, unlike money removing them from your use is not like theft.

    All that work and the value you created through hours of your time disappears at the vendors whim and you have no come back at all.

    I too have avoided social media, simply because they have no interest in it's value to you only what they can earn off your time and identification.

    1. Roj Blake

      Re: It is a shame that virtual items are .....

      They are considered to be (intellectual) property.

      But theirs, not yours.

  22. Duffy Moon

    Twit twoo

    I recently got temp-banned from Twitter, for daring to criticise the great Ed Sheeran.

    Good thing I didn't make any lists on there though.

  23. 0laf Silver badge

    Erm

    So it was really important?

    Really really important?

    'Decades' of work, so really very quite important?

    So you'll have backed it up then? I mean if something is that important I'd have multiple backups in different locations.

    Even a paper list. that's still a backup.

    So.... about your backup?

  24. Gordon JC Pearce

    > "Twitter lists breaking basically breaks my ability to work and makes me want to pivot away from Twitter list curation," Wolf told The Register.

    Get in the fucking sea.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In both the cloud, and page 2 or more of el-reg comments

    #noonecanhearyouscream

  26. ForthIsNotDead

    #CryMeARiver

    See title.

  27. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    I used Twitter once

    But apparently you need friends and followers.

    I left...

  28. razorfishsl

    Stupid people use free software for CRITICAL tasks,

    then whine when "all their critical work" is trashed.

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