There was a bug that affected old tweets on Twitter over the weekend. After investigating, it was found that posts prior to December 2014 which contained images and links shortened by Twitter were affected. Twitter is now owned by Elon Musk, who acquired it for $44 billion in September last year. Musk, the CEO, stated, “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, which will be fully resolved in the coming days.”
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.
— Support (@Support) August 21, 2023
On Sunday, many users reported that tweets posted before December 2014 were not visible. According to a post on X.com by Tom Coates, all media posted before 2014 should be removed from Twitter. This resulted in the removal of almost a decade’s worth of links, images, and videos from the early 2000s. Additionally, Ellen DeGeneres’ famous selfie from the 2014 Academy Awards ceremony, featuring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, did not include the accompanying image in her tweet. Although the image was later fixed, not everyone experienced the same fix.
Tom Coates raised this issue and pointed out that even the most retweeted selfie ever, Ellen DeGeneres’ selfie from the 2014 Oscars, was missing its image. It is still unclear when and how this bug started and how long it will take to completely resolve the issue. Investigations have revealed that only older posts were affected by the bug. This happened after Twitter made changes in 2016, using metadata on tweets from December 2014 onwards to provide additional data from linked pages and allow attachments without using up the tweet’s character count.
Some speculate that it might have been an error caused by the attempt to switch the company’s domain from Twitter.com to X.com. All that is known is that for a while, many old tweets made by Stephen A. Smith were featured.
Take a look, y’all: IMG_4346.jpeg
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) May 27, 2015
It has been observed that most of the deleted images and links were removed around the same time that Twitter introduced “enhanced URL enrichment” in 2016. This improvement included HTML title and description in the Tweet payload, along with operators for matching them. On Tuesday, Elon Musk mentioned, “We exceeded 346 billion user-seconds today.” He also drew attention to a spike a few months ago when multiple LLM companies attempted to download the entire database simultaneously. Musk encouraged journalists to post on X, stating, “If you’re a journalist who wants more freedom to write and a higher income, then publish directly on this platform!”
Image Source: Yalcin Sonat / Shutterstock