back to article 'Brittle' Twitter suffers bad case of the Mondays: Links, pics, vids fail

Elon Musk's Twitter got off to a bad start on Monday when it introduced further unexpected changes in the form of broken links and images. Starting around 0830 Pacific Time, according to DownDetector, clicking on links in Twitter posts resulted in an error message: {"errors":[{"message":"Your current API plan does not include …

  1. NoneSuch Silver badge


    The Twitter timeline has been royally bollouxed for weeks now. Seeing random posts showing 1h old then the next is 10h old then the next 3 min.

    1. Steve Button Silver badge

      Re: Timeline

      I wouldn't know, because I changed my password to something I would forget a few weeks ago, as was just fed up with the service.

      However, it seems that El Reg and the BBC really don't get the irony of this statement..

      "PS: Twitter insiders claim the biz is no longer able to effectively tackle trolling, state-backed disinformation..."

      Unless by tackle they mean "engage with" and "state-backed disinformation" they mean the US Government?

      I guess you have not actually read The Twitter Files?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Timeline

        I guess you haven't read them all either, just what the right wing nutters told you too.

        or is it you just don't understand?

      2. Boozearmada

        Re: Timeline

        Spot on, obviously the left disagree

  2. original_rwg

    Getting it wromg

    Until Elon sacks the right people the service will keep coming back....

    1. aerogems Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Getting it wromg

      Brilliant! Even the typo in the header ends up being a case of falling down in the outhouse and coming out smelling like roses!

  3. aerogems Silver badge

    Because Twitler is such an authority on these things.

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    I'm just asking...

    for a friend...

    When will Twitter die? It needs putting out of its misery now.

    1. The Velveteen Hangnail

      Re: I'm just asking...

      The single best explanation I have ever heard, was actually from a botanist in the TV show "The Expanse".

      I can't remember the exact quote, but essentially what he said was that complex systems don't fail outright. They deteriorate over time, small things breaking here and there because they cannot be maintained. Eventually those small issues start adding up, and eventually they will cascade, causing other parts to fail, which cascade further, until finally the whole thing crashes and burns.

      I couldn't find the exact clip I was looking for but it's Season 2 Episode 10 "Cascade".

      And that's exactly what we're seeing now with Twitter. Twitter is already dead. They just don't know it yet.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Re: I'm just asking...

        Oh, I think they know it all right. But as long as the paychecks keep coming, they'll keep pretending.

        And the paychecks won't stop until Mr Musk feels he can declare victory, in some dimension or direction anyway. Which he clearly can't at this point.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'm just asking...

        Reminds me of a Frank Zappa quote:

        “Jazz isn’t dead, it just smells funny”

  5. Alien Doctor 1.1


    This pasty-faced idiot makes even Ballmer and Ellison seem normal and that is saying something.

    I wonder if hs murkiness/muskiness has some get out clause in the loans he used to buy shitter that he gets all his money back if he kills the "service."

    What a pedo-guy.

    1. Blank Reg Silver badge

      Re: wtf?

      The difference is that they are only assholes, not idiots , musk happens to be both.

  6. First Light Silver badge


    You bought it, you broke it, you git.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Has anyone read "The Machine Stops" by E M Forster?

    1. Alien Doctor 1.1

      I can only upvote once, thanks for the reminder of this great, prescient story.

    2. DJV Silver badge

      Has anyone read "The Machine Stops" by E M Forster?

      I have now - because of you! Thank you for mentioning it and enabling me to find and read it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      yeah, kind of frames the wisdom of people/businesses/government relying on Twitter

      Empty promises from a post dot-bomb company that tweets will provide a resilient and lasting platform of record. A "digital commons" or "town square". Instead it is just another headless statue lost in the blowing sands of the wasteland that is Silicon Valley in hindsight.

      In reality, they wanted us to rely on it to make it harder to abandon, like all the similar platforms before it. In reality it was no different, other than leaving a scum ring a little higher up in the bathtub.

      Government agencies in particular should take this lesson to heart and stop pandering to platforms like Metaface, Googlebet, and MuskTwit. They should really own their own platforms and communications, and leverage tools that one person can't shutdown, take away from them or erase. The news media also bought into that Faustian pact, with decades of content reliant on Twitter shortened URLs and embedded references to tweets instead of direct quotes and screen shots. That journalistic record is now in danger of being erased at any moment. All so Twitter could drive uptake and "engagement" and steal eyes and advertising money from the publications that pandered to it for likes and follows.

      /s Anybody from the Reg can feel free to chime in if the are feeling particularly hollow or bitter in hindsight, or if their longstanding deal with the old man at the crossroads kept them out of, well that PARTICULAR kind of trouble. :) s/

    4. that one in the corner Silver badge

      "The Machine Stops"

      A set text for English lessons - at age 12 we didn't think it would be so relevant in later life!

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: "The Machine Stops"

        Not everything was that applicable to later life, though - take gerunds. Yes, we were taught how to hunt them, but as boys didn't do Home Ec back then, we never learnt the proper way to cook them and now they just go straight into the garden dalek.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Cooking Gerunds

          Don't you use one of the recipes your grammar taught you?

    5. Graham Cobb Silver badge

      In the 1980's, when we were working on data networking at a significant player, a brilliant guy, the leader of a group of very smart people indeed, circulated "The Machine Stops" and told everyone working on this to read it.

      I've never forgotten it. It is a shame it isn't mandatory reading for this generation of networking engineers.

    6. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

      Hasn't everybody read "The Machine Stops" in lockdown?

    7. Kane Silver badge

      For those, like me who are yet to read the story, link is here:

      1. MCPicoli

        I hadn't read it... until a few minutes ago. Thanks! It remembered me about "Ravage" (""Ashes, Ashes" in the english edition) by René Barjavel (1943), in the sense of a "lost" humanity that forgets about humanity and leans almost religiously toward "the machine"... until it fails.

        Didn't like the ending, but no spoilers from me.

        Obligatory wikipedia:,_Ashes

    8. Spanners Silver badge

      Has anyone...

      I will now. On my (very old) kindle now,!

  8. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

    "We made an internal change that had some unintended consequences."

    Aka "We've fired all the guys who knew how it worked, and are now learning as we go. If we ever get close to figuring it all out, performance reviews will ensure we fire the guys who have just about finished mastering it and replace them with new guys who have to start from scratch. Thank you for your patience."

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      I Came To Say the Same

      "We made an internal change* that had some unintended consequences. We’re working on this now** and will share an update when it’s fixed."

      *Getting rid of everyone who knew how it all worked.

      **Trying to rehire those that knew how it all worked, who are extremely pissed & now want more $$$$$.

    2. The Axe

      Should've added "because the previous people who ran the business didn't think to have a dev environment".

  9. Empire of the Pussycat

    "We made an internal change that had some unintended consequences"

    I do hope the unnamed scribe survives retribution for this sly reference to EM.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That's probably not what they meant

      but it probably IS what literally happened.

  10. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint

    This looks very much like Musk's crackdown on external services using the Twitter API has also cracked down on Twitter's own services using the API. Perhaps they solved the issue by buying access to their own API for themselves.

    1. ariels-again

      Re: Your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint

      EM figured out the road to profitability! Every homepage render by Twitter is 1000 API calls to Twitter (as established by prior work by EM). Start charging for every API call, take say 2x as much as each call costs.

      Now do the math: every time Twitter renders its homepage for a user, it performs 1000 API calls. It pays for each of these. So for every cent Twitter receives from itself for API calls, it pockets a half a cent profit. Now sure, Twitter has to pay that cent, but since it paid itself it certainly lost no money.

      1. that one in the corner Silver badge

        Re: Your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint

        > Twitter has to pay that cent

        But, as it is a Major Client of Twitter, Twitter has very favourable terms, 60 days to pay the invoice, so for two months it can borrow against its invoiced income before it has to worry about being required to pay itself. That takes care of running costs for April and May.

        In 45 days time, Twitter will raise the cost of using the API and invoice Twitter for the larger sum to cover June and July, thus giving an increase in invoiced value, extrapolated out to show an above predictions annual growth. Such growth, in the current global climate, makes Twitter a Good Bet for investors and the creditors take over the June invoices to clear the borrowings from March, with interest (surprising how high API prices can jump). Repeat with the July invoices, and separate lenders, to take care of June and July.

        It's August! Silly Season in the media, ignore anything you hear on the news! Summer Holidays are here, we're all on a cruise to the Cayman Islands.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Your current API plan does not include access to this endpoint

        "It pays for each of these."

        Existing creditors might say that's a bold assumption.

  11. Jim Mitchell
    IT Angle

    "I don't usually test, but when I do, it is in production"

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge

      Is that you, Nadella? Oh no, that's "We don't do any testing, that's what customers are for. It's in production."

  12. Adrian 4 Silver badge

    concern ?

    ".. elicited concern among technical types that the social media network would collapse for lack of engineering ministrations."

    No, it elicited schadenfreude (or the wish to experience it).

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: concern ?

      I though you can just fill open space office with bums on seats straight off the coding bootcamp and get the money spinning, no?

  13. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Billionaire tax

    Imagine that it would be illegal to have more than £100m - anything over that would have to be taxed at 110%.

    Musk would have to work together with hundreds of people to buy Tw@ter.

    This means there is lesser likelihood that those hundreds of people would exhibit the same personality disorders and would probably lead to better outcome for humanity.

    1. Phil E Succour

      Re: Billionaire tax

      Although there’s an argument to be made that Musk destroying Twitter is also a better outcome for humanity…

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: there’s an argument ... Musk destroying Twitter …

        It's still a rich cunt getting away with stuff that no pleb could while ruining a site that millions were using.

        There’s an argument to be made that Twitter destroying Musk's wealth is a far better outcome for humanity.

        1. Boozearmada

          Re: there’s an argument ... Musk destroying Twitter …

          well it's a fucking crap argument then

  14. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Twitter is brittle

    and thanks to Elon, more full of nuts than ever before.

    1. Lil Endian Silver badge

      Re: Twitter is brittle

      Shirley you mean le goons...

  15. jollyboyspecial Silver badge


    Yes Elon, the platform is brittle. Much more brittle than it was a few months ago. And seemingly getting more brittle as time goes on.

    Do you suppose this might be in some way connected to two facts? First that you have slashed staffing and second that you have increased the rate that changes are made to the platform.

  16. jollyboyspecial Silver badge

    Change Control

    I've heard that Twitter has a very well documented change control procedure. Trouble is there's nobody left at the company that's heard that.

  17. Winkypop Silver badge

    Humpty Dumpty

    Was an innovator.

  18. Ashto5 Bronze badge


    Well if your system is so BRITTLE

    Perhaps you need to take it a little slower and fix the foundations.

    To all the engineers who built this brittle structure, you should perhaps be a little embarrassed ?

    It is not really the new guys fault, he bought a lame duck.

    Should have left Twitter alone.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: It is not really the new guys fault, he bought a lame duck.

      When the seller says "this duck is lame, want a look?" and the buyer says "No, that's fine, I can fix it" the seller takes the buyers word for it.

    2. zuckzuckgo Silver badge

      Re: Brittle

      > engineers who built this brittle structure, you should perhaps be a little embarrassed ?

      All engineered structures are built on supports. Randomly remove some of those supports and it falls down. That's not the fault of the engineers but the idiot who removed the supports.

  19. Ashto5 Bronze badge

    Space X model

    Seems that old Elon is treating Twitter like space X, test until failure then fix what needs to be fixed.

    The build and test pipelines WILL be improved, this is just teething out the flaws.

    Good luck to him.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Seems that Space Karen is treating Twitter like space X

      Well he's a fucking idiot then. One is a social media platform, one is a space rocket. They are not similar engineering challenges.

      What is it with these fucking white knights leaping to the defence of Space Karen? What do they get out of it? The possibility of a retweet from their beloved leader?

      1. Lil Endian Silver badge

        Space Karen

        Epic --->

        1. MiguelC Silver badge
    2. breakfast Silver badge

      Re: Space X model

      Space X have an entire layer of management dedicated to managing Musk and keeping him feeling important but preventing him from actually doing anything that might harm the company. Elon is treating Twitter like he would treat Space X if they weren't very careful about not letting him touch anything and making sure he just stomps about feeling important.

    3. cray74

      Re: Space X model

      Seems that old Elon is treating Twitter like space X, test until failure then fix what needs to be fixed.

      There's a bit of a difference between what Elon did at SpaceX and Twitter:

      1. At SpaceX, Elon hired skilled engineers to build rockets. Then he got lots of DARPA, NASA, and investor money to design and test rockets. Then, yes, they tested rockets that exploded and learned from the test failures.

      2. At Twitter, Elon is firing every engineer and manager who knows how the system runs while cutting expenditures that might be used for system improvements. The resulting failures aren't from deliberate testing but rather lack of maintenance and dwindling system knowledge. Even if the failures were from deliberate tests then Elon has laid off the skilled personnel who know how to use the resulting test data.

  20. chivo243 Silver badge

    2023 SOP

    Remove all public relations, remove any way for a customer\client to contact the company. Perhaps an AI chatbot would be helpful for Twitter, it seems all other places I call or visit their website have some sort of interactive assistant that shits the bed quickly... I'm sorry(Dave) I'll have to disconnect you, I don't understand your question.

  21. breakfast Silver badge

    The BRITTLE manifesto

    Excited to learn more about this methodology Twitter are using. I'm guessing it stands for something like Billionaire's Ruinous Idiocy Template To Lose Everything.

  22. 45RPM Silver badge

    It’s a good job that, other than claiming credit for it, he has little to do with SpaceX. They’d just be a firework factory if he did.

    Boring Company? New Twitter? Whoopie Cushions in your Tesla (actually, all the shit bits in a Tesla) - that’s all Musk. I wouldn’t trust him with a Lego set. He’d probably push the pieces up his nose.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      I wouldn’t trust him with a Lego set. He’d probably push the pieces up his nose.

      OK Homer, don't give him any crayons!

      Homer discovers the root cause of his subnormal intelligence: a crayon that was lodged in his brain ever since he was six years old. He decides to have it removed to increase his IQ, but soon learns that being intelligent is not always the same as being happy.

  23. Terafirma-NZ

    Simple fix

    Sounds like they enabled the paid API feature so all Elon needs to do is whip out that credit card and add it to Twitters developer account on Twitter's developer portal and then all their apps will work again. A bonus feature is Twitter gets some more income.

    Maybe if they make it pay-per-call it might even balance the books.

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