Since Friday, users of X, formerly Twitter, started noticing that many images posted on the platform between 2011 and 2014 were no longer accessible, according to various media reports, Insider reported.
The glitch resulted in some of the most viral moments in internet history becoming inaccessible. It also seemed to affect links posted in the same three-year period – some of which have become shortened links.
The most famous casualty was Ellen’s star-studded selfie at the Oscars, posted in 2014. The post racked up over 2.8 million reshares and 2 million likes since being posted in March 2014.
According to Insider, on Saturday, users posted about losing access to other pieces of internet history, from pictures about the Arab Spring to posts by the K-Pop group BTS.
At the time of writing, access to images and links from 2011 to 2014 – including Ellen’s selfie – continued to be inconsistently available, per Insider’s review.
Insider also reported that X first introduced image-sharing to its platform in June 2011. It remains unclear why the glitch occurred, and neither Musk nor X acknowledged the glitch since the outages began.
However, these outages come amid increasing instability on the platform. Widespread outages have been on the rise since Musk made massive job cuts to the company in October last year, Insider reported in March.
One of the most high-profile outages occurred in February when the platform became inaccessible because an employee accidentally deleted data on a key function. The team responsible for it had already left the company.
The Verge reported that the @Support account at X, the company formerly known as Twitter until Elon Musk rebranded it, says, “Over the weekend we had a bug that prevented us from displaying images from before 2014. No images or data were lost. We fixed the bug, and the issue will be fully resolved in the coming days.”
There are no details mentioned in the post about what the bug was, when it started happening, or why it will take an unspecified amount of time to resolve. In looking up the problem, we learned that changes by Twitter in 2016 used metadata on tweets posted from December 2014 going forward to fill in additional data from linked webpages and allow attachments that didn’t eat up a tweet’s character count, and it was only earlier posts that were hit by the bug.
To me, it seems like X is having unexpected (and strange) problems nearly every day. I suppose this is what happens when the person in charge of a major social media company decides that the first move is to fire the vast majority of its workers. Things typically do not run smoothly after that.