Since Elon Musk took over at the end of October, Twitter’s headcount has decreased through layoffs and resignations to a tiny fraction of its original number. Under Musk’s leadership, the social network’s workforce has left in droves, leaving the platform open to a variety of problems. Technologists believe that at some moment, a significant fault will affect the social network. This week, Musk gave workers the option of staying on board with a more “hardcore” version of their professions or quitting; an astounding number declined.
Glenn Hope calls it a “pretty dark picture”. Hope, an engineer with experience at Facebook and Instagram, has posted a list of potential events that may result in social media network outages. It is just astounding—possibly unprecedented—how much tribal wisdom has been lost, he said.
Because the site’s remaining workers won’t be able to patch code issues, technologists believe it is likely that Twitter will begin to lose functioning or be susceptible to a serious breach. In general, computer servers don’t run automatically. A platform like Twitter may experience stress during major international events like the FIFA World Cup 2022 since it needs a range of technologies to function, from the front-end website that users scroll to the back-end
People with intimate knowledge of the issue claim that some teams that were crucial to preserving the service’s availability have been fully disbanded or have started utilising engineers from other teams. It takes IT teams to keep tweet databases up to date and the main feed running. The hashtag #RIPTwitter became well-known on the internet as users and departing workers announced the closure and bid their goodbyes.
Due to their complexity, these systems may need ongoing maintenance, alterations, and institutional understanding of how things are set up. It becomes even more challenging if the software was created in a hasty or less-than-ideal environment, said Chester Wisniewski, principal research scientist at the cybersecurity company Sophos Ltd. As per Wisniewski, it is a “nightmare scenario for almost any firm, especially a tech firm”.
Alec Muffett, a software engineer who has worked in host and network security for more than 30 years, including at Facebook, believes it is normal for network security at a platform like Twitter to deteriorate over time as flaws in the company’s code base are discovered and nobody is left to fix them right away. The most likely threats to Twitter’s network security right now, according to him, are account takeovers or privacy violations.
There is a chance that a crucial system at Twitter will fail since there are considerably fewer engineers left at the company to address operational problems. Important portions of the site, or potentially the entire site, “will fall over like a table missing a leg,” warned Muffett. For example, users could no longer be able to log in or retweet.
People may stop using a website if it is unreliable. Additionally, advertisers may lose faith that the promotions they are paying for will reach the intended audience, further jeopardising Twitter’s financial stability.