UDPATED: Twitter users reported broad problems accessing the service Thursday afternoon across the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world, with the technical issues lasting for more than two hours.
According to DownDetector.com, reports of problems with Twitter began to spike just after 5:30 p.m. ET, and soared to over 53,000 complaints by 5:58 p.m. Those began to taper off about 20 minutes later.
In an update posted at 8:14 p.m. ET, Twitter’s communications team wrote, “The recent issue was caused by an inadvertent change we made to our internal systems. Twitter should be working for everyone within the next few hours.”
Earlier, a company rep told Variety, “We know people are having trouble tweeting and using Twitter. We’re working to fix this issue as quickly as possible. We’ll share more when we have it and tweet from @TwitterSupport when we can – stay tuned.”
The Twitter spokesperson added that “we have no evidence of a security breach or hack, and we’re currently investigating internal causes.”
A notice posted on Twitter’s status page at 5:56 p.m. ET said the company was “Investigating Irregularity with Twitter APIs.” At 8:11 p.m., the page was updated with a message that said, “We are continuing to monitor the issue, and things appear to have returned to normal.”
Earlier, users of the social service reported the inability to post tweets, access their timelines, or see notifications. On desktop and mobile apps, Twitter was displaying error messages that said, “Something went wrong” and “Tweets aren’t loading right now.”
Twitter jumped into the political spotlight this week, after it blocked users from tweeting or retweeting a New York Post disputed article about Hunter Biden. That elicited calls from Republicans demanding that Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey explain why the company was preventing users from sharing the Post story. Twitter said tweets with links to the Post’s articles ran afoul of its policy against sharing hacked materials.
Separately, this summer, Twitter suffered a massive coordinated attack on high-profile accounts of multiple celebrities, politicians, tech titans and Silicon Valley companies. The hack, which occurred July 15, targeted about 130 separate accounts, according to the company.
Like other internet services, Twitter has experienced outages in the past. In July 2019, the social network was down for about an hour worldwide on both mobile and desktop.