Twitter users are seeing tweets seemingly vanish before their eyes as the social media platform struggles with yet another setback. Complaints around disappearing tweets aren’t entirely new, but whether Twitter has the engineering staff to quickly solve this most recent issue is yet to be seen.
After similar complaints of feeds resetting and tweets disappearing back in September 2021, the company said it would address the hiccup, writing in a post, “Let’s talk about Tweets disappearing from view mid-read when the timeline seems to auto-refresh. We know it’s a frustrating experience, so we’re working on changing it.” Twitter claimed it would roll out updates over the following months to rectify the issue and at this point, it’s unclear whether the platform is experiencing the same glitch as back then.
In November of 2021, Twitter commented on its original post about disappearing tweets, telling users that it had updated the app to eliminate the issue.
“Now you can choose when you want new Tweets to load into your timeline—click the Tweet counter bar at the top,” Twitter wrote, adding, “We’ve made some updates on iOS to prevent Tweets from disappearing mid-read. Now when you pause your timeline scrolling to look at a Tweet, it should stay put!”
Now Twitter users are complaining that this promised feature, the supposed added benefit of a tweet’s ability to “stay put” is no more. “Twitter seems to be eating tweets,” user Arvind Narayanan wrote in a post on Wednesday. “3 of the 7 tweets from the middle of the thread below are gone. I don’t mean that the thread broke, I mean gone — those tweets don’t show up in my profile either. The thread shows no indication of it.”
The criticism comes as Twitter recently suffered major outages amidst financial pressures and mass layoffs since Elon Musk took over the company in October. Just last week, Twitter shut down for the sixth time this year when all links effectively broke, to reveal an error message earlier this month.
The long-awaited assumption that reduced engineering staff means reduced solutions at Twitter seems like a reality, and Steven Murdoch, a professor of security engineering at University College London, recently told The Guardian that the unresolved glitches and shutdowns are in part due to the layoffs of Twitter’s engineering team.
“The result is that eventually, problems occur which are sufficiently serious to be noticed by large portions of Twitter’s user base,” he said. “It has been suggested that rewriting the Twitter code could help avoid such problems but this is a high-risk strategy. It would result in splitting the already-reduced engineering team between maintaining the old code and making the new version.”
Narayanan received responses to his post from other users who complained about Twitter removing content, and user Michael Baym wrote in a separate post, “Really love how my grad student wrote a great tweet thread about our recent preprint and Twitter just spontaneously deleted parts of it, including the link to the preprint. Thanks, Elon. Way to run a company.”
We’d like to hear more from Twitter on what exactly’s going on but earlier this week, Twitter’s press email’s auto-response was updated to be the poop emoji.