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Twitter down! Lags, outages, hacker attacks, that plagued the website

Twitter recently suffered a cross-platform outage with error messages warning the network is both 'over capacity' and suffering an 'internal error'. This isn't the first time at technical issues plagued micro-blogging website. A look at past instances...

>> Twitter went offline for users across all platforms in January, this year. Access to the service began failing over the web, mobile and its API (application programming interface, the system that applications use to speak to the Twitter service) with error messages warning the network is both 'over capacity' and suffering an 'internal error'.

>> Post the passing of legendary music icon Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009, led to a temporary lag in Twitter services, after over 50,000 tweets were recorded in an hour of the King of Pop's death.

Twitter crash
A screengrab of an error message following a outage on Twitter

>> The famous 'Oscar selfie' taken by Ellen DeGeneres during the 86th Academy Awards on March 2, 2014 shut down Twitter for almost 20 minutes. The image was later retweeted over 3 million times after two weeks. It broke US President Barack Obama's record of 780,000.

>> Both Twitter and rival social media site Facebook were victims of a sudden denial-of-service attack on August 6, 2009, which caused the Twitter website to go offline for several hours. It was later confirmed that the attacks were directed at one pro-Georgian user around the anniversary of the 2008 South Ossetia War, rather than the sites themselves.

>> An Iranian hacker group named Iranian Cyber Army replaced Twitter's welcoming screen with an image of a green flag and the caption "This site has been hacked by Iranian Cyber Army" for nearly an hour on December 17, 2009. No connection between the hackers and Iran has been established.

>> The unique numerical identifier associated with each tweet exceeded the limit of 32-bit signed integers (2,147,483,647 total messages) in what was dubbed a possible, 'Twitpocalypse' occured on June 12, 2009. While Twitter itself was not affected, some third-party clients could no longer access recent tweets. The issue was rectified with the release of some patches.

>> Twitter experienced a very high service rejection rate around 10 to 20 per cent during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The response latency also increased substantially during this time.

>> Twitter was down foraround one hour and forty minutes on June 21, 2012. The website's technical team described the cause as a "cascading bug".

>> Twitter users in the United Kingdom were unable to post messages on July 26, 2012, a day before the 2012 Summer Olympics. The San Francisco-based company said the outage was caused by a "noteworthy" double failure in its data centers, when two its systems coincidentally stopped working at around the same time.

>> Twitter undewent an unusal outage on November 2010 when several accounts encountered a fault that resulted in them seeing the "fail whale" when they tried to login to their accounts, which were not locked out as account holders could still see their "mentions" page, and post from there, but the timeline and a number of other features were unavailable during this outage.

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