Twit Cleaner was just offline for 58 hours. This is the longest we've been down (by a wide margin) in the last three years. Given the budget we're operating on, that's something to be pleased about.

Of course, being offline for ANY time bugs me (and inconveniences you).

So what happened?

Obviously, everything we do depends on Twitter. If we can't talk to Twitter (for whatever reason) we're as good as dead.

What happened was, the network connection between us and Twitter got broken, somewhere 6 hops down the lineĀ (in the 10 or so servers between us & Twitter).

Now, when companies screw up, they generally don't like to explain why or what they did, so I may never know exactly what happened.

Two main possibilities:

1. The company that runs hop 6 and hop 7 screwed up their config somehow.

2. The servers at the edge of Twitter's network (at hop 8) told the hop 7 machine to dump us.

Now, why would Twitter say that? Most likely is misconfiguration (this stuff is CRAZY complicated. It's super easy to screw something up & not notice immediately).

Less likely is that someone close to us was causing mischief, attacking Twitter. When that happens, servers are often set up to automatically drop all traffic from that neighbourhood. It's like if someone on your block throws a tantrum, the whole street gets cordoned off. If we were offline for exactly 48 hours, that would be my best guess. However, since it was 58 hours (a weird number) this seems unlikely.

Least likely of all is that Twitter was deliberately trying to take us offline. Why? Because a) they didn't tell us (and they've always been very open, friendly and helpful to us), and b) our API access stayed rock solid the whole time, just not from our specific server. Eg, I could still run things perfectly from my home laptop.

So, the most likely thing that happened was scenario one above. Nothing to do with Twitter at all, just some accidental screw up, deep in the bowels of a huge corporation. The reason it took so long to sort was because it all happened over a weekend.

Annoying for me (and you) but understandable. I know I've certainly screwed up thousands of times in the past (fortunately mostly without you guys seeing too much before I was able to fix things).

All the above is speculation - as I said, we may never know exactly what happened. The good news is, we're back and everything is hunky dory again. Have fun cleaning!