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Twitter blames crashes on 'networking equipment'

John D. Sutter
The website Twitter has been crashing sporadically this week.
The website Twitter has been crashing sporadically this week.
  • Twitter social site has been crashing repeatedly this week
  • Twitter blames problems on networking equipment
  • The company says it has resolved the issue
  • Twitter Inc.
  • Internet
  • Technology
  • Websites

(CNN) -- If you're a frequent Twitter user, you've probably noticed that the microblogging site has been crashing repeatedly this week.

Twitter says on its Status Blog that these "site availability issues" were caused by a problem with networking equipment.

"This networking error prevented us from serving at full capacity," Twitter said Wednesday afternoon.

The problems continued Thursday. About 9:40 a.m. ET, the company posted an update:

"The site is returning an elevated rate of errors and timelines are sporadically backing up and recovering," the company's blog says. "Teams are responding to this incident."

About 20 minutes later, Twitter said it had resolved the issue.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment and offered no further explanation about the outages on its website.

The San Francisco, California-based company has continued to grow in popularity as people and businesses post 140-character snippets of information about what they're doing. Twitter users now post 65 million tweets per day -- or about 2 billion messages per month. About 135,000 people join the site every day, Twitter's chief operating officer, Dick Costolo, has said.

As the Twitter troubles continued this week, some of its users were expressing frustration through the site, which has been working in spurts.

"Is Twitter trying to make me feel nostalgic for the old days when it was down all the time?" asked one user, named agiletortoise.

A Twitter user named Mumford_ said the fact that Twitter is down amounts to a sort of "social suicide."

"TWITTER DOWN!? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH *jumps out 12th storey window* #socialsuicide," that user wrote.

Site crashes are nothing new for Twitter. It experienced a meteoric rise in popularity in 2009. With that came growing pains, but many of Twitter's users stuck by the company, saying they understood that it was trying to add computer server capacity to keep up with the rapid growth.

A cult of supporters has even developed around Twitter's iconic "Fail Whale," a cartoon that shows up on users' screens when Twitter is down.

But, at least for some people, that cute cartoon is losing appeal.

A game called "Die Fail Whale" has been circulating on the Web. Users take out their aggression over Twitter's failures by "shooting as many frakin' fail whales as you can in 25 seconds."


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