Downtime

Twitter’s Weirdo Error Page Is All Tumblr Can Talk About

Plurk waits in the wings, jogging in place. Its time is now.

Twitter’s big Thursday afternoon crash (ongoing for us as of 1:20 p.m. EDT) produced a weird landing page that sent Tumblr users into a screencapping frenzy, in part because unless you’ve programmed in or studied Ruby on Rails, the programming language upon which Twitter was originally built, you probably won’t recognize blank Ruby variables like “<%= reason %>” or “<%= deadline %>.”

Reactions ranged from Debby in Germany, who took the opportunity to abuse Twitter with profanity:

twitterdown1a Twitters Weirdo Error Page Is All Tumblr Can Talk About

To Thom Stoodley, who proposed an explanation for the outage:

twitterdown2a Twitters Weirdo Error Page Is All Tumblr Can Talk AboutThen there were those who seemed resigned but resentful, like Tumblrer sarahsamudre, who capped the strange landing page and simply wrote, “I want to use <%=reason %> as my excuse for things.”

The despairing and Twitterless masses also took their wailing and gnashing of teeth to Facebook timelines:

twitterdown3a Twitters Weirdo Error Page Is All Tumblr Can Talk About

Chicago Tribune columnist Rex Huppke’s Facebook response was particularly eloquent, as if the vox populi on both Tumblr and Facebook were momentarily channeled through him and him alone:

twitterdown4a Twitters Weirdo Error Page Is All Tumblr Can Talk About

So say we all, Mr. Huppke.

Follow Steve Huff via RSS. shuff@observer.com