A perplexing glitch has recently swept through the X platform, formerly known as Twitter, leaving users astonished and internet history at risk. Since last Friday, users have reported a bizarre issue: a vast collection of images posted between 2011 and 2014 suddenly vanishing into thin air. This unanticipated disappearance includes some of the most iconic and viral moments in online history.
From Ellen DeGeneres’ star-studded selfie taken at the Oscars in 2014, a snapshot that garnered over 2.8 million reshares and 2 million likes, to crucial images capturing the Arab Spring and posts from K-Pop sensation BTS, all have been engulfed by this digital void.
The glitch isn’t just confined to images; it extends to shortened links that were posted during the same three-year period. This technological hiccup has ignited a wave of concerns over the fragility of our digital memories and the potential vulnerabilities of online platforms.
The problem was first flagged by Tom Coates, who took to the platform on Saturday to express his shock at being unable to access images from 2014 and earlier. His post quickly amassed over 15.2 million views, demonstrating the gravity of the situation. Although a community note was later appended to Coates’ post, indicating that the images still exist on X’s servers, the fact that they remain inaccessible to users is a worrisome glitch. Even more disconcerting is the lack of clarity surrounding the glitch’s origins. Neither Elon Musk, X’s chairman, nor the platform itself has issued any formal acknowledgment or explanation for the issue. These outages add to an escalating series of disturbances on the platform, which some speculate could be related to the significant job cuts made by Musk in the previous year.
This isn’t the first time X has faced major disruptions. In February, a substantial outage was caused when an employee accidentally deleted essential data tied to a key platform function. Notably, the team responsible for this feature had already departed from the company.
As the tech industry struggles to deal with this unexpected problem, concerns about our digital footprints and their vulnerability to unanticipated technical problems surface. The incident serves as a sobering warning that flaws and weaknesses in our electronic ecosystems can still endanger our digital heritage, even in our hyper-connected world. Users of X can only wait in the hope that their priceless photos and memories may one day be returned to their proper place in internet history.