Twitter compromised accounts overshadow massive election victory

Nov 8, 2012
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It's not that Twitter was rooting for Obama, but that they survived the entire election day, night, and next morning that the micro-blogging site would be joyous about if it weren't for the massive password-reset blunder occurring today. Twitter has had a bit of a break-down today and over the past 24 hours with some break-ins on accounts both large and small. The funny thing is though that their break-in wasn't nearly as gigantic as their own password reset blast made it seem.

The news earlier today was that Twitter was experiencing problems of unknown proportions, with masses of people reporting in with their own message saying they'd have to re-set their password to continue using the service. Twitter later in the day (before noon, EST) sent out a message saying that they'd sent the message to many, many more people than they'd needed to, also chalking up the matter to routine re-sets that would have happened either way. The great news though for the greater sphere of users is that Twitter recently set themselves up with a fabulous Ruby-to-Java move that kept them up during one of the heaviest usages in their history.

Twitter's Vice President of infrastructure operating engineering made it clear this week that Twitter really kept its head about it - with an average of 9,965 messages per second between the hours of 8:11 PM and 9:11 PM Pacific the night of the Presidential Election in the USA (Tuesday of this week). He also noted that during one of the seconds inside 8:20 PM, there were 15,107 new posts at once. He also noted that the traffic peak was 874,560 posts in a single minute.

"The bottom line: No matter when, where or how people use Twitter, we need to remain accessible 24/7, around the world. We’re hard at work delivering on that vision." - Rawashdeh

Twitter did not break down in any way at all even with these massive amounts of traffic due in no small part to their recent move away from a backend software written in Ruby, living on the Ruby on Rails framework. They moved to a new software stack instead, built on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) instead - and it worked wonders. This may very well mean you might never again see a legitimate Fail Whale on Twitter - saddest day!


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