Elon Musk‘s day went from bad to worse in a matter of hours on Monday. After already fending off a damning BBC report that highlighted continued the Twitter CEO’s management flubs and more (he reportedly takes bodyguards with him to the restroom), the social media platform went haywire around noon EST as tweets stopped loading and images were broken across the entire site. A frustrated Musk fired off a tweet lamenting the state of Twitter’s code stack.
“A small API change had massive ramifications,” Musk wrote amongst the chaos. “The code stack is extremely brittle for no good reason. Will ultimately need a complete rewrite.”
A small API change had massive ramifications. The code stack is extremely brittle for no good reason.
Will ultimately need a complete rewrite.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2023
But that wasn’t the whole story. In a corroboration of the earlier BBC report that massive layoffs and resignations had left Twitter severely undermanned, a new report claims that just one employee was overseeing the move to a new paid API system. The consequences were readily apparent. Via Platformer:
The change had cascading consequences inside the company, bringing down much of Twitter’s internal tools along with the public-facing APIs. On Slack, engineers responded with variations of “crap” and “Twitter is down – the entire thing” as they scrambled to fix the problem.
Elon Musk was furious, we’re told.
However, employees did confirm that Musk is partially right. Twitter’s infrastructure is in bad shape, which is why you need a team of engineers to carefully implement any changes.
“There’s so much tech debt from Twitter 1.0 that if you make a change right now, everything breaks,” an employee told Platformer. Instead of grappling with that reality, Musk has continued with layoffs.