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Elon Musk Turns Off "Bloatware" Services And Now Twitter Users Cannot Log In

It might have been there for a reason.

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockNov 15 2022, 16:01 UTC
An illustration of Elon Musk.
People had their concerns. Image credit: Wirestock Creators/shutterstock.com,

It's fair to say that Musk's first few weeks as Twitter CEO have been a little shaky, with mass impersonation of brands and politicians, and him learning the absolute basic facts about the platform he bought for $44 billion via Twitter fact-checking his own tweet.

Despite a big new advertiser deal with himself (Musk's SpaceX ordered an advertising campaign that usually costs around $250,000, though maybe less as Musk now "knows a guy at Twitter") this week is still looking like a bumpy ride, with Twitter engineers warning that systems may soon begin to creak and break.

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Adding to those problems, according to current Twitter engineers, is Musk's desire to turn off "bloatware". Musk wrote on Twitter yesterday that "part of today will be turning off the 'microservices' bloatware. Less than 20 percent are actually needed for Twitter to work!"


While cutting bloat may sound like a worthwhile goal, coders and Twitter employees voiced their concerns that turning off these microservices would lead to unintended consequences.

They were, it appears, correct to have concerns. It's unclear what of this "bloatware" was altered during the day, but users began to report that, after logging out, they were unable to log back in again. 

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The problem affected users who have set up two-factor authentication, an extra step at login to make your account more secure. Users (who are also greeted with the two-factor authentication check when changing other Twitter settings) reported that they were not sent a code, making them unable to log in.

Wired confirmed that others did not receive their code for hours or did not receive them at all, making them unable to log onto the site. Kenneth White, a security engineer and codirector of the Open Crypto Audit Project told the website that he's concerned the outage will lead users to disable two-factor authentication and make their accounts less secure.

“It's hard to say exactly what caused the issue that so many people are reporting," he added, "but it certainly could result from large-scale changes to the web services that have been announced."

Presumably, Twitter is working on a fix for the issue, but it may not be the last they face. According to Twitter engineer Sheon Han, who deleted an initial tweet criticizing the decision, "as a Twitter engineer working on a number of those microservices, I'm predicting a massive outage in the next few days if 80 percent are turned down".


Maybe it isn't all just bloat.


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