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Twitter glitch puts users over daily rate limit

Thousands of individuals and brands unable to post new content or access TweetDeck due to bug in the system.

Thousands of individuals and brands unable to post new content or access TweetDeck due to bug in the system.

A sign attached to Twitter's global headquarters is viewed from a sidewalk on Market Street in San Francisco, California. June 18, 2014. (Photo: Matthew Keys/The Desk/Creative Commons)
A sign attached to Twitter’s global headquarters is viewed from a sidewalk on Market Street in San Francisco, California. June 18, 2014. (Photo: Matthew Keys/The Desk/Creative Commons)

A serious technical issue on Wednesday left thousands of Twitter users unable to publish content to the social media website, a bug that also affected the ability to send direct messages and use the power platform TweetDeck.

The glitch started around 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (1:30 p.m. Pacific Time) when users took to Mastodon, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms to complain that Twitter had blocked them from posting new content after they purportedly hit their “rate limit” for the day.

Most Twitter users have a rate limit of around 100 tweets per hour or 1,000 per day, though some accounts with a legacy verification badge — including celebrities, businesses, government officials, members of the media, musicians and athletes — are not supposed to be subject to the rate limit.

Some users who don’t have verified accounts said they were still getting the rate limit error, even though they had not tweeted enough during the hour or day to trigger it. A few novel users were able to get around the bug by scheduling their tweets and re-tweets at least one minute out, but the method only seemed to work for a handful of accounts.

Early Wednesday evening, Twitter’s official support account affirmed the problem, saying the platform “may not be working as expected for some of you.” A Twitter spokesperson was not available to comment on the glitch; the website’s communication team was dissolved late last year.

The problem is the latest in a string of technical and security issues to impact the social media website since it was acquired by billionaire Elon Musk in late October. Weeks after the acquisition went through, users began reporting a serious issue affecting the website’s two-factor authentication mechanism, a problem that locked hundreds of people and brands out of their accounts.

In late December, Twitter users were kicked off the platform after a bug left them unable to access their accounts or send tweets through Twitter’s official smartphone and tablet apps. Some users were able to get around the problem by using a third party Twitter client like TweetBot or Twitterific; in late January, Twitter changed how other brands could access its platform through the company’s API, which permanently crippled those third-party clients.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.
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