Image Source: Vox
People are saying goodbye all over Twitter today.
The hashtag “RIPTwitter” is widespread, and many Twitter users are rushing to save their information.
They also tell you where else you can find them (consumer champion Martin Lewis, who has two million Twitter followers, has set himself up on Mastodon, although he admits he still needs to learn how to use it).
Elon Musk, the new CEO of Twitter, is not one to miss a trend, so he tweeted a tombstone meme with the Twitter logo.
Twitter employees are leaving in large numbers. A week after buying the platform, Mr. Musk fired half of the people who worked for him. And many more are leaving since he sent an email to his remaining employees demanding that they work in “hardcore” conditions.
According to their Twitter bios, many people leaving are engineers, developers, and coders. These are the people who make Twitter work.
Let’s look at the bluebird’s two most significant weaknesses, which could quickly knock it off its perch.
Could someone hack Twitter?
The first and most obvious one is a hack that does much damage.
Like all big websites (like this one, the BBC), Twitter will constantly be attacked by bad people, even by the government, who want to cause trouble. World leaders, politicians, and celebrities have personal Twitter accounts with millions of followers. This is easy pickings for hackers who want many people to see their scam, as we have seen before.
Or, they might want it to go away, so they send a lot of web traffic to it to see if it shuts down because it’s too busy. There will always be attempts like this; a battle never ends.
Cybersecurity is or should be an essential part of how every company runs in the 21st century. But Lea Kissner, in charge of cyber security at Twitter, left the company last week. It has yet to be found out if she was replaced. (There is also no communications team at Twitter, so it’s not easy to ask.)
Most likely, Twitter’s security is vital. You can’t run a website that 300 million people visit every month with just a piece of string. But this toughness needs to be kept up over time.
Think about how often you have to install security updates on your phone or computer. That’s because security holes you didn’t know you had are constantly being found, and it’s the provider’s job to send you the fix.
Servers in danger
The second thing that could go wrong is that the servers could be taken down by someone with a grudge or by accident during routine maintenance that isn’t well-watched.
There is no Twitter without servers (Facebook, Instagram or our digital world.)
Powerful computers, called servers, are like the bodies of these platforms. The data centers have them. These are effectively warehouses full of computer servers central to online businesses’ operations. Servers make the world work.
All of those machines make a lot of heat. Because of this, they must keep centers cool and have a steady electricity supply.
They must maintain and replace data as it moves between servers. Something could go wrong with any of those things. It would be sudden and dramatic if it did.
The choice to go nuclear
Elon Musk knows all this, of course. So let’s not assume he doesn’t, then. But he could also choose to act like a fool.
We need to find out who is keeping watch at the moment.
Read Also: Twitter: A timeline of ten days of chaos
Yesterday, something made me think that more people are watching Twitter than we think.
There is a story Twitter locking the account of an astronomer because automated moderation tools made a mistake, and she thought she broke the rules. No one from Twitter or Mr. Musk’s other companies got back to me or talked to her. They restored he account by the end of that day.
Somewhere on Twitter, someone was paying attention. There could be enough of them doing exactly that.
A third choice is Musk could declare Twitter bankrupt and shut it down. Even so, he seems to be enjoying being Chief Twit right now.