Did someone actually break the internet? It sorta seems like it. Users of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, some of the web’s biggest platforms, reported experiencing major issues on Wednesday, with many losing access to basic features and functions.
Reports first poured in concerning Twitter, where users reported being met with a message telling them they’d reached their “Tweet limit” for the day. Twitter actually does have a tweet limit (it’s 2,400 tweets per day), which the platform says it uses to alleviate strain on its backend. However, most people don’t tweet that much, and many of the people who reported receiving the message said they hadn’t even tweeted yet that day.
NetBlocks, a watchdog organization that tracks web outages throughout the world, confirmed Wednesday that Twitter was experiencing “international outages” that were impacting a number of its features.
In response to complaints, Twitter’s support page ultimately issued a short statement apologizing for the inconvenience: “Twitter may not be working as expected for some of you. Sorry for the trouble. We’re aware and working to get this fixed.”
Weirdly enough, an almost identical affliction seemed to descend upon Facebook and Instagram Wednesday, with users reporting that they were unable to post new Insta stories or reach Facebook Messenger. Downdetector, which tracks individual complaints for web platforms, showed a spike in incident reports for both platforms around 4:30 p.m. EST, around the same time that Twitter also began having trouble.
To top it all off, some YouTube users reported being unable to reach the platform’s homepage Wednesday. Instead, they were greeted with a simple message: “Something went wrong. Please try again.” (For the record, I was able to log into YouTube without any trouble, so whatever digital hangup is stopping some users from accessing the video hosting site isn’t affecting everybody). YouTube’s Twitter account ultimately acknowledged user complaints, saying they were “looking into” whatever was troubling the platform and would follow up soon.
So, yeah, what gives?
As people woke up to the fact that the web’s biggest platforms were all having issues simultaneously, Twitter came alive with memes, conspiracy theories, and jokes. “Did twitter break because those were the remaining 4 twitter employees in front of congress today? Coincidence?!?!?” one person cracked, referencing the House hearing involving Twitter execs that took place Wednesday.
We have no idea what happened, so we reached out to the impacted platforms for comment. We will update this story if they respond.