Welcome to 2016? Twitter Locks Out Android Users and Time-Travels Past The New Year
It looks like Twitter decided to kick the DeLorean up to 88 MPH and skip past almost all of 2015 just before the New Year arrives. Due to a bug in a single line of code, Twitter went down for five and a half hours for Android users, locking them out of the app entirely. The cause? Twitter thought it was December 29, 2015.
While Android users were logged out of the app and unable to log back in, users of Tweetdeck were seeing that tweets were all posted 365 days ago even though they were just being sent.
“We’re working on resolving issues some users are having signing in on some platforms,” Twitter’s support account said following the issue.
What Went Wrong With Twitter?
When coding, a constant rule of thumb is that the program will do precisely what the developer tells it to do; it can’t infer anything. Internationally, December 29 is the first week of 2015. When specifying what year it is, the developer must explicitly tell the software that the year is the one that they’re in today and not the year of the week.
The coding mistake was disastrous at the moment, but easy to make for any developer. After resolving the issue, Twitter confirmed that the outage was “due to a bug in our front end code, which has been patched.”
Both Android users and Tweetdeck users are using Twitter again with no problems in relation to the date or timeframe. iPhone users reportedly had no problems using the service during the coding malfunction.
Previously, Twitter experienced problems on December 25 when tweets weren’t showing up on feeds. While issue was resolved quickly, users were then met with this new problem only a few days later.