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August 6, 2009

Twitter is down: What do you think?

Posted: 10:29 AM ET

Twitter's Web site is down, and, based on my feed, has been since about 9:30 a.m. ET.

This is causing a bit of freak-out online, but I'm wondering what you make of the situation.

When online social media services like Twitter and Facebook cut out for 30 minutes or an hour, does that disrupt your social life? Does it affect your business?

Do you think the Twitter-is-down hysteria is legitimate, or are people just looking for something to say online? If the panic is warranted, I wonder what that says about our hyper-connected society and our reliance on technology that helps us feel like we're part of the world.

As an aside: Does anyone else miss the Twitter fail whale? The iconic cartoon whale tried to put a positive, we're-in-this-together spin on the rapidly growing site's failures. This morning you won't get the fail whale image if the site doesn't load, though. I get a standard error message. (See this story for more on fail whale fans)

We'll keep monitoring the situation to see when Twitter comes back, and how much chatter this is getting in the blogosphere. In the meantime, please help us out by sharing your thoughts with comments to this post.

Here are a few ways to keep up with the situation yourself: Check the site for a one-word answer. Currently: yes.

Twitter status: Documents Twitter mishaps and problems.

Twitter's blog: Seems to be down now, but Twitter's staff posts here about updates and site issues.

UPDATE: 10:54 a.m. ET: Twitter says it is defending against a denial of service attack. More from the site's blog.

UPDATE 10:41 a.m. ET: In an e-mail to, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said the company is looking into the site failures and will update its status blog with any new information. He did not elaborate on potential causes of the outage.

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Filed under: Twitter

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OldConservative   August 6th, 2009 1:38 pm ET

Weeeeelll, I realize cnn is very liberal BUT, I think Nobama did it! If you search twitter "obama Care" 9 out of 10 comments are against obama care..Dis-information as obama calles it. Don't know how he knows that since he admits he hasn't read the bill.

dwr   August 6th, 2009 1:41 pm ET

Twitter would be more useful as toilet paper

Ashalee   August 6th, 2009 1:42 pm ET

It really isn't the end of the world. I i didn'y know until a friend told me. However, I have been logged on all morning to Facebook. I noticed slower speed and error pop-ups. It seems like it is getting back to normal. And yes it is important, Both makes the day go by for alot of people.

Da20   August 6th, 2009 1:43 pm ET

Ironic, all this people who says that Twitter is useless and that it sucks and it's a waste of time, are here posting all their "relevant" opinions, just like in... Twitter!!!

robla   August 6th, 2009 1:44 pm ET

There is life without Twitter.

Sure, there is value with any technology or form of communication, but the vast amount of what goes back and forth on Twitter is mindless tripe. Of course we all know that the Iranians used it to send messages out in their June crisis. But the addicted majority seems to have a compelling need to tell everyone that they went to the restroom or that they bought a candy bar.

Watch anyone texting while driving or walking or when in a social group and unless you're from out of space, you can't help but notice that it's gotten way past the point of being out of control. There's a bunch of empty shells walking around there capable of sending inane short messages to anyone and everyone but who are missing the life around them.

Take a Twitter (and text message) break on your own America.

John   August 6th, 2009 1:47 pm ET

Does anyone except marketing morons (sorry, meant geniusus) actually use and promote Twitter? What a wast of time.

Liza   August 6th, 2009 1:50 pm ET

I don't use twitter to say what i'm eating at the moment or to join the #hashtag wars. I use it to stay up to date on my local government (the city's mayor has a twitter and updates on policy). I don't have text messaging, so I use twitter's direct messages to stay in contact with my family. I use it to get my news and collaborate creatively.

Twitter isn't a fad. It's a productivity tool. Whether you like twitter or not, it's become a part of the culture (The President even has a Twitter, as does Oprah), and this downtime is affecting people's daily lives.

What if something like GMail went down? Would we have this huge public outcry from people saying "oh, now you have to send real paper mail now, losers!" or "if GMail is so important to you, you must have no real life!" I don't think so.

Ryan   August 6th, 2009 2:02 pm ET

Twitter is pathetic, and our society is pathetic if this is what makes headline news. People are more concerned about writing and reading peoples jargon on the internet than focusing their energy on something productive. If you are a constat twitter user, or you became angry because you couldn't post your useless message, I feel sorry for you, but have a suggestion....get a life!

Justin Stauffer   August 6th, 2009 2:03 pm ET

I am a marketer. These sites and others like it enable me to effectively do my job. Yes, Twitter being down was a nuisance though it was bearable. I am not going to be moving the family to the basement as I mentioned in an earlier post. 🙂

The most basic principle of social media relates to "user generated content". By definition this includes the ability to comment in all of CNN's news articles. Like it or not, this makes all of you participants in the social web.

In short, social media enables all of you to have your own voice. And a very strong one at that...

Luvs2Tweet   August 6th, 2009 2:08 pm ET

just wanted to say Thanks for keeping us posted!!

Will G.   August 6th, 2009 2:12 pm ET

I think it's about time. I can forgive social networking like Facebook, or even the high school drama network that is MySpace, but Twitter hit a nerve.

I mean honestly, do all your friends have to keep track of what you're doing every 15 minutes of your day?! Heck, I know people who 'tweet' and drive during their commute! Honestly, it's fine it you want to text your friends about what you're doing so you can make plans or small talk, but to post it for the ENTIRE FREAKING WORLD TO SEE?! YOU COULD END UP WITH A $50,000 LAWSUIT LIKE THAT ONE WOMAN WHO BAD MOUTHED HER APARTMENT! Look it up, I saw the story here on CNN about a week ago.

joen   August 6th, 2009 2:22 pm ET

What's 'twitter'?

Doyle R Shea   August 6th, 2009 2:23 pm ET

Give twitter a chance to assess, plan, and repair... Their growth has been unreal and hard to predict this amount of success.

*Best thing is to do is give twitter a break, if we keep going to their website it will cause more problems.

Dave W   August 6th, 2009 2:35 pm ET

This isn't news worthy. It doesnt affect me or how I go about my day. Twitters are egotistical a-bags who think what they are doing every minute of ever hour is important to everyone.

Travis   August 6th, 2009 2:36 pm ET

What is Twitter?

Richard in Anaheim   August 6th, 2009 2:38 pm ET

If Twitter is the service and Tweets the message, are the people using it Twits?

kas   August 6th, 2009 2:47 pm ET

What's 'Twitter'?

JR   August 6th, 2009 2:58 pm ET

Folks who regularly use Twitter and FB to communicate have a serious void in their lives.

fred245   August 6th, 2009 3:00 pm ET

hey dbwelch: blah, blah, blah. Twitter is a fad, so go get a life!

Ric   August 6th, 2009 3:00 pm ET

Laughable...I think it's great!

John   August 6th, 2009 3:00 pm ET

What's a Twitter?

Really? What is the purpose? People have nothing more to do than this?

Ric   August 6th, 2009 3:02 pm ET

I mean, really now. Those of you who feel disconnected because the twit is down, really need a dose of reality check up and rehab. Get a freakin' life!

jcns   August 6th, 2009 3:17 pm ET

twitter down. Seriously?!
there is email, sms, mms, and how about the telephone?

the Dude   August 6th, 2009 3:18 pm ET

I wish I could tweet about Twitter being down.

Dee   August 6th, 2009 3:22 pm ET

Hope it's fixed soon. I love Twitter, news hits Twitter before the mainstream media reports it. I feel out of the loop, will be happy once it's up and running again. P.S. I got a freakin life, thanks!

Gelasevi   August 6th, 2009 3:28 pm ET

Will this affect TwitterTracker? Thats my only real concern.

Giuseppe   August 6th, 2009 3:32 pm ET

Remember the Pet Rock? Hippies? 8-track tapes? Rubik's Cube? 80s hair? VHS? Music CDs? Friendster and Myspace? In 2 more years Twitter and the Facebook will be on that list...

Weee   August 6th, 2009 3:33 pm ET

The 'new technology is uber' discussions here remind me of that commercial with the guy who gives out a pair of shoes for every one he sells, and how 'this would be impossible without a global network'. No, it wouldn't. Philanthropy did not begin with wireless broadband. And believe it or not there were revolutions before Iran found twitter. In Iran even.

Not all technology 'is here to stay', in fact, most of it fails pretty quickly. Twitter has no revenue model. It's user numbers are over hyped (using connections instead of users for example). If you want to know if twitter is here to stay, here are the numbers you need: what is the life span of a customer (how long do they continue to use the service over all), and what is the life span of an average tweet connection (discounting garbage, like people who sign up and ignore it forever); then compare those to new user growth. Those numbers would tell you everything.

If you have massive growth but also too many people dropping off constantly, thats a fad, even if the growth outpaces drop off, because eventually you run out of marketplace. My guess is that people get tired of the barrage / spam of useless information and drop off pretty quickly, but again, I don't know.

I do agree that twitter can be useful in a collaborative work environment, but I don't think they will make any money doing that. In the end my guess is that twitter will eventually fail, or become bloated enough in it's attempt at revenue that it is no longer interesting. Twitter is the kind of thing that begs to be open-source / non-profit.

Yep   August 6th, 2009 3:48 pm ET

"Ironic, all this people who says that Twitter is useless and that it sucks and it’s a waste of time, are here posting all their “relevant” opinions, just like in… Twitter!!!"

Actually twitter is just like this. It's a repackaging of things we've had for 20 years, or 10,000, depending how you look at it. The main difference is that it gives a broader audience a louder voice. In the end it changes nothing though, only our perception of it. If everyone turns the volume up it just drowns everything out.

Twitter is inanity with a bullhorn.

Yes I know it is useful for small groups, but there are plenty of free options for collaboration for small groups.

Les   August 6th, 2009 3:54 pm ET

I've enjoyed reading these comments, and thanks for the advice Ric, I'll take that into consideration!

Hutch   August 6th, 2009 3:57 pm ET

In light of the effect that Twitter & Facebook had in the Iran post election situation, has anyone considered a possible connection to Iran?

Brian   August 6th, 2009 4:14 pm ET

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

OneHungLow   August 6th, 2009 4:27 pm ET

Twitter users = Douche'bags

Raja   August 6th, 2009 4:32 pm ET

"Tweeto ergo sum."

I must be having a schadenfreude moment, because I love this outage.

Jim   August 6th, 2009 4:47 pm ET

WHO CARES! Twitter is for"Tweets"anyway Good Riddance.

JWR   August 6th, 2009 5:06 pm ET

Twitter. Facebook. Etc. Etc. Where all the losers hang out. No big deal. Hopefully it stays down forever.

Franco   August 6th, 2009 5:28 pm ET

Screw Twitter! It's only use is to allow people to stalk other people more easily. If I had an internet hunting shotgun, I would load it with birdshot immediately and shoot Twitter into oblivion (but it going down for good works too).

calmus   August 6th, 2009 6:06 pm ET

Things you're doing while Twitter is down:
-Worrying how everyone will know Twitter is down if we can't tweet that Twitter is down
-Writing 140 character messages on post-it notes
-Yelling I'M THINKING ABOUT GETTING A BURRITO as loudly as you can
-Calling your friends one at a time and saying "Really fast, what are you doing right now?
-Settling for updating your Facebook status, though it's not the same
-Worrying about how @THE_REAL_SHAQ is doing
-Going to the bathroom without telling anyone

Scott   August 6th, 2009 6:21 pm ET

Thanks Twitteridiots. I was going to post that, now I don't have to.

Sam   August 6th, 2009 7:49 pm ET

Makes you wonder what would happen during a real crisis. Twitter being hacked shows how vulnerable our systems are. Electrical, nuclear , water and gas all are part of our modern day of life...and it would not take much to bring it all down. Earthquake, Major Solar flare or a terrorist attack could reset everything back 100 years.

Elk2370   August 6th, 2009 8:15 pm ET

Horrors!!! People will have to communicate face to face!

jazzett   August 6th, 2009 10:48 pm ET

Yep... I'm up there... So far up there that I posted an IReport "My Twitters Down"... What the heck is going on with this? Someone should be able to fix it or something

Tim   August 6th, 2009 10:49 pm ET

Good, I'm glad its down, maybe those who do seem to be reliant on electronic friends will step outside and realize there is a real world.

Joe Publicini   August 6th, 2009 11:20 pm ET

Boo Hoo, the crack cocaine known as twitter is down. Let me grab the violin.

SSavage   August 7th, 2009 12:01 am ET


Coire   August 7th, 2009 2:02 am ET

I'm glad twitter is down, it allows people to get off the computer or cell phone and leave the virtual world and re-enter the real one. Why do people feel like they have to tell the world every single impulsive thing that comes to their mind. How can you say anything meaningful in 140 characters?

Rob   August 7th, 2009 2:16 am ET

Twitter was down?

Oh well, darn.

My world carried on. Did yours?

MOBADTHANGOOD   August 7th, 2009 6:12 am ET

WTH is "tweeter".

Andrew   August 7th, 2009 8:38 am ET

Twitter is a waste of time. No one cares what you're doing. It's just something for people to do. MySpace and Facebook take up enough of peoples time already. Using all these sites together someone can figure up a life story on anyone they want in a matter of minutes.

Adam Talbott   August 7th, 2009 9:04 am ET

Uh oh, now the brainless fad obsessed idiots will have no way to tell the world when they're brushing their teeth!!! NOOOO!!!

sasha   August 7th, 2009 9:46 am ET

oh no twitter is down....what are we going to do???? hmm maybe pick up a phone and call someone...or better yet actually see them!! not CNN worthy.

J Lugo   August 7th, 2009 10:18 am ET

Twitter is a waste of time. No one wants to know what anyone is doing at any particular time. If there is a person out there that cares that twitter is down, they are not being a productive member of society. Why can't people get a hobby or call someone if they want them to know what they are doing. The celebrities hire people to Twitter, they aren't really doing it except for a few really rich and bored ones.

Caitlin K.   August 7th, 2009 1:27 pm ET

Twitter being down made my day.

There are a thousand ways to connect to other people; ever hear of Skype? Or AIM or even -gasp, shock and awe- meeting for lunch?!

Seriously, Twitter being down is not a big deal- the entire network of your company or college being down- that's a big deal. Because then NOTHING gets done.

Twitter is for twits.

livingINtheREALworld   August 7th, 2009 1:36 pm ET

I honestly think the reaction to an internet site (one that was mainly designed for the attention-grabbing, drama queens – as proven by some of the comments made) being down is absolutely RIDICULOUS. Twitter hasn't been around forever, people survived then. The internet hasn't even been around forever and people still survived. People almost seem to think that the very Earth will stop rotating because they can't tell friends or random strangers (probably stalkers or pervs) what they're doing every second of the day. PATHETIC.

Long post? Yes. But this is something I couldn't resist getting my opinion on.

James   August 7th, 2009 4:08 pm ET

twitter is down? GOOD! GET A LIFE PEOPLE!

Ian Millard   August 7th, 2009 6:54 pm ET

Really, Who Cares?
What did the world do before Twitter?
Before Blackberry?
Before Cellphones?

We got along just fine, thank you.
Twitter – and any resulting dependency – is for twits!

9898245643   August 7th, 2009 8:04 pm ET


Rob   August 7th, 2009 9:54 pm ET

It's kinda shocking to think that life existed and carried on quite well before Twitter...and the internet itself.

People need to get a grip. Whether it's a "good business tool" or not, it's quite pathetic that society feels an obsessive need to rely on these kinds of things. If the entire power grid of the country collapsed, we'd be in VERY sad shape.

jewbacca   August 7th, 2009 10:36 pm ET

I'm totally chillin wit my brohas, watchin tv an stuff. oh god I just tweeted, thats mad lame.

hang wit your homies! not your computer! meet wit your coworkers, not stalk their tweets! call a girl up instead of lookin at her updates to see if shes available for a date!!!!!!

Brett   August 8th, 2009 12:22 am ET

good. People need a break from thinking people care abut the mundane details of their lives

Abbey   August 8th, 2009 3:22 pm ET

Life goes on....we survived for years without Twitter and Facebook .A few hours won't kill anybody. Maybe it will force people to actually interact with others for once. We are losing that social skill as a society. Granted the instant access is wonderful and convenient but one should always have a plan B in place for communication if it is that important to them or necessary in their lives.

Mike R.   August 8th, 2009 3:59 pm ET

Twitter fits the new values of the American education system just fine. Can't carry a thought more than 140 characters. Isn't that amazing? What ever happened to actually talking to someone? Guess that's so 1999.

Nick H   August 8th, 2009 10:22 pm ET

I'm not going to say that the internet's a poison or that people should shut up and get some excercise (i'm very much a tech addict myself and i think twiiter's kind of innovative) but come on! no one reallly wants to know how my tuna sandwich was! hardly any users on the site pay attention to anyone but their friends or celebrities so people shouldn't be to concerned about losing their "following"

Lisa From RI   August 8th, 2009 11:21 pm ET

Oh No! How will Ashton Kutcher survive the day? LOL

Jay   August 9th, 2009 12:40 am ET

Really? How about you people go get a job. Plant a tree. Ride a bike. Hit the gym. If your life revolves around any type of social networking site, your a waste of space.

Matt   August 9th, 2009 9:59 am ET

Too much over-connection and over-emphasis on non-productive time wasters like Twitter. Stop following Shaq and study, get a job, learn a language-maybe even English. Volunteer at the hospital or help needy people. Twitter is egomanical for those who tweet and hero-worship for the hordes who follow.

Bill   August 10th, 2009 6:16 am ET

Who cares? One of the useless wastes of bandwidth on the internet that serves absolutely no useful purpose anyway.

Raquel   August 10th, 2009 8:51 am ET

What were we doing before Twitter? What were we doing before Facebook, MySpace and the like?

If we get worried, upset or ' feel naked' because Twitter goes down, we've got way too much time on our hands. We've become too dependent on stuff like this and that's not good.

Life goes on and stuff like this shouldn't stop ours. We need to get a grip!

Jason   August 10th, 2009 4:26 pm ET

I honestly think the only reason Twitter has gotten so popular is that a certain major news network has decided to cover it more than something more important, like maybe a couple wars that might be going on.

Paul   August 11th, 2009 8:41 am ET

Hope it stays down!

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