Is Elon Musk’s social media platform really at risk of collapsing during the World Cup as Twitter sheds more employees? | Techy Kings


Tech industry insiders and experts are concerned about the stability and security of Twitter, after the social media giant let go of many of its core engineers.

Hundreds of workers quit this week after Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk, demanded they commit to an “extremely hardcore” work environment or resign with severance pay. Thousands of others had already been fired.

Hashtags like #RIPTwitter, #twittershutdown and #twittermigraton have since developed, with some former employees sharing their experiences on the very platform they’ve either left or been fired from.

There are questions about whether a smaller team can keep such a huge platform afloat, and users are already seeing parts of the site fraying at the edges.

Given that the World Cup is expected to lead to a spike in Twitter traffic in the coming weeks, is the platform really at risk of breaking? And what might happen if it doesn’t start falling apart?

The Twitter logo on a building photographed behind a red traffic light.
Twitter is now facing a shortage of engineers, with insiders warning that the social media giant could crash. (Reuters: Carlos Barria )

WC a ‘natural opportunity’ for hackers to target Twitter

A current Twitter employee told Business Insider that “outages of some kind” were almost certain during the World Cup, which is a major event on the platform.

The world record for the “most discussed sporting event on Twitter” belongs to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which allegedly generated 672 million tweets.

Paul Haskell-Dowland, professor of cyber security at Edith Cowan University, says the World Cup is “a natural opportunity” for hackers to target Twitter, as the service is expected to be under stress when it sees peaks in demand.

Prof Paul Haskell-Dowland
Professor Paul Haskell-Dowland says the World Cup is “a natural opportunity” for hackers to target Twitter.(Delivered)

“The absence of people to take care of it can result in impacts on the availability of services,” he says.

“Cybercriminals around the world will be well aware of the challenges the Twitter platform currently faces.”

He said hackers were likely considering trying to do denial-of-service (DoS) attacks, which flood a website with too much traffic, or even trying to compromise Twitter accounts by exploiting vulnerabilities in the platform.

It wasn’t clear how much Twitter’s cybersecurity team had been affected by the recent layoffs and departures, but earlier this year its former chief security officer, Peiter Zatko, filed a whistleblower complaint alleging the platform’s cybersecurity was in a dire state.

Twitter users are noticing more bugs, spam and scams

Some Twitter users have seen an increase in bugs on the platform in recent weeks, as well as more spam and scam content and problems with two-factor authentication when logging in.

Downdetector, a service that tracks website outages, has flagged in several countries in recent days that “user reports indicate possible problems on Twitter”.


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