Over the weekend, word spread about a problem affecting old tweets, and eventually, we narrowed it down to anything posted before December 2014, either with an image or a link that had been shortened by Twitter. A post by Tom Coates alerted many people to the problem and he noted that a 2014 Ellen DeGeneres selfie from the Oscars that took the crown as “most retweeted ever” was even missing its image.
Now the @Support account at X, the company formerly known as Twitter until Elon Musk rebranded it, says, “Over the weekend we had a bug that prevented us from displaying images from before 2014. No images or data were lost. We fixed the bug, and the issue will be fully resolved in the coming days.”
There are no details mentioned in the post about what the bug was, when it started happening, or why it will take an unspecified amount of time to resolve. In looking up the problem, we learned that changes by Twitter in 2016 used metadata on tweets posted from December 2014 going forward to fill in additional data from linked webpages and allow attachments that didn’t eat up a tweet’s character count, and it was only earlier posts that were hit by the bug.
Some have speculated that it was an error caused by trying to move the company’s domains from Twitter.com to X.com, but all we know is that for a while there, it had many old tweets looking like they were posted by Stephen A. Smith.