- Jan 8, 2011
Elon Musk has claimed that Twitter is under attack from “several hundred organizations” who were conducting “EXTREME levels of data scraping,” forcing them to bring “large numbers of servers online on an emergency basis” and enact emergency measures.
Twitter started blocking all logged-out access to Twitter, requiring signing in to view any tweet or profile. Elon Musk called it a “temporary emergency measure,” claiming they “were getting data pillaged so much that it was degrading service for normal users!”
Apparently, it didn’t stop the crush of traffic and, this morning, Musk announced they escalated their actions against supposed “extreme levels of data scraping” by rate-limiting the number of tweets you can view.
But on Mastodon this morning, web developer Sheldon Chang noticed another source of unusual traffic: a bug in Twitter’s web app that is constantly sending requests to Twitter in an infinite loop:
"This is hilarious. It appears that Twitter is DDOSing itself.
The Twitter home feed’s been down for most of this morning. Even though nothing loads, the Twitter website never stops trying and trying.
In the first video, notice the error message that I’m being rate limited. Then notice the jiggling scrollbar on the right.
The second video shows why it’s jiggling. Twitter is firing off about 10 requests a second to itself to try and fetch content that never arrives because Elon’s latest genius innovation is to block people from being able to read Twitter without logging in.
This likely created some hellish conditions that the engineers never envisioned and so we get this comedy of errors resulting in the most epic of self-owns, the self-DDOS.He posted a video of the bug in action, sending hundreds of requests a minute.
Unbelievable. It’s amateur hour."