Hackers may have brought down Twitter this morning. The rapidly expanding new communications tool, which gained global attention in the Iran election crisis, was inaccessible for several hours Thursday.

The company is blaming a “denial-of-service” attack.

“We are defending against a denial-of-service attack, and will update status again shortly,” the company said on its status.twitter.com website earlier in the morning.

It later said Twitter “is back up, but we are continuing to defend against and recover from this attack.”

However users reported they still could not access Twitter for what in Internet time seemed like an eternity.

A denial-of-service attack occurs when hackers overload a web service with data, making its servers slow to a crawl or crash.

Twitter is not just fluff or another platform for useless 140-character personal “tweets.” It is increasingly becoming a real source for news that mainstream media don’t, won’t or can’t report on their own. CNET News’ Caroline McCarthy observes, “It’s been a crucial platform for information exchange in the face of global events where more traditional means of broadcasting have been inaccessible or blocked.”

Facebook was also experiencing problems Thursday morning.

suewebb @ pww.org


Susan Webb
Susan Webb

Susan Webb is a retired co-editor of People's World. She has written on a range of topics both international - the Iraq war, World Social Forums in Brazil and India, the Israel-Palestinian conflict and controversy over the U.S. role in Okinawa - and domestic - including the meaning of socialism for Americans, attacks on Planned Parenthood, the U.S. as top weapons merchant, and more.