Twitter exec explains cause of outage

June 22, 2012 at 3:27 PM

SAN FRANCISCO, June 22 (UPI) -- A Twitter executive offered an explanation for a service outage that left users around the world "tweetless" for about an hour.

Writing on the company blog Thursday night, Twitter's vice president of engineering, Mazen Rawashdeh, said engineers found a cascading bug in one of Twitter's infrastructure components.

A "cascading bug" is one with an effect that isn't confined to a particular software element, Rawashdeh said. Instead, he said, its effect "cascades" into other elements as well.

"One of the characteristics of such a bug is that it can have a significant impact on all users, worldwide, which was the case today."

Twitter crashed around 12 noon EDT Thursday, affecting both third-party and Twitter apps on the Android and iOS platforms.

As soon as crash was discovered, Rawashdeh said, the company took corrective actions, including a switch to a previous stable version of Twitter.

The company was conducting a review to ensure such a chain of events could be avoided in the future, Rawashdeh said.

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