Twitter goes offline for more than an hour

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Associated Press

Posted on July 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 26 at 5:00 PM

LONDON—People across much of the planet were having problems accessing Twitter on Thursday, a day before the 2012 Olympic Games are expected to cause a spike in use of the micro-blogging site.

It first went down around 11 a.m. Central time.

The San Francisco-based company acknowledged the problem, saying in a statement that its engineers are “currently working to resolve the issue,” although it didn’t go into any further detail.

Just after 12 p.m., some users in the United States reported they were back online.

During the outage, visitors to the website were greeted with a half-formed message partially in code saying that “Twitter is currently down.” The fields where a reason for the outage and a deadline for restoring service were apparently meant to go were filled with computer code.

Sluggishness or outages were reported from countries in North America, Europe, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

Some users were apparently able to post updates—known as “tweets”—through their phones or third-party applications. Updates about the Olympic torch—which is currently wending its way through central London—were still pouring in, albeit far more slowly than earlier in the day.

The Olympics are expected to bring an unprecedented surge of activity by sports fans on social networking sites such as Twitter.

At the recent European Championship final, users fired off more than 15,000 tweets per second, setting a sports-related record for the site.

Social media users were already complaining about an earlier outage that affected Google’s chatting services. The Mountainview, Calif.-based company said Thursday morning that the majority of users were seeing error messages and unable to use its Google Talk service. The issues were resolved five hours later.

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