The Twitter Follower Fail Whale Chaos

July 24th, 2008 at 12:00 am

fail whale twitter error

Twitter’s rampage of failures has reached an all time high (that means low actually ‘coz it’s actually bad).  In their efforts to improve their anti spam service, Twitter has caused its users to lose a significant number of their followers.  This has caused an uproar bigger than any uproars they had to face because of downtime.

Twitter is the epitome of a social community medium.  It’s a system that tells everyone what you’re doing and everyone can tell you what they are doing.  It’s also been a useful tool for communities where people follow a central figure and receive information from them.  It’s been so effective that some companies use Twitter to monitor their customer’s opinions (thanks to Summize). 

So in social media world, the loss of connections, friends, subscribers or followers is a capital crime and Twitter just committed that.

Though there was no intentional motive to do so, Twitter has caused a significant followers/following  loss.  For some die hard people and people who seriously use Twitter as a community broadcast tool, this is totally unacceptable.  Twitter was merely trying to improve on its spam detection service which was why recently there have been limits to the following capacity of a user.  

With all the spam going around Twitter, I don’t think you can blame Twitter for doing what it did.  The introduction of a new spam-bot was to improve the Twitter service anyway.  However, it ended up screwing up the database and consequently led to the loss of followers.  In this capital crime case, Twitter did it all in self-defense.

Of course there are no penal codes for this case, nor will there be any legal ramifications, Twitter is a web service and its users have agreed to the EULA, so if you’re worried if we’ll see a judge about this, well worry no more.

Twitter is fixing the problem and will be doing so until they stabilize the whole thing.

From their status blog:

"We’re still in the process of recovering from the missing follower/following problem that occurred earlier today. Over the next several hours, you may see inaccurate counts or timeline inconsistencies as the correct data is propagated to all parts of the system."