Ex-Employee Says Twitter Has a 50% Chance of a Major Crash During the World Cup

A former worker at the social media company now owned by Elon Musk thinks there's a good chance of a crash or other serious issues

In this photo illustration, Twitter account of Elon Musk is displayed on a smartphone with a Twitter logo in the background. A former employee suggests Twitter may crash during the World Cup
Can Twitter stay on during the World Cup?
Photo Illustration by Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

After massive layoffs, a weekend staff exodus and issues rolling out a verification system that caused significant stock losses for some companies, Elon Musk’s revamped Twitter may face its biggest challenge yet this month: The World Cup. And one former employee thinks there’s a 50-50 chance the site will crash during the football championship.

As reported by The Guardian, a former employee who worked closely with Twitter’s Command Center (TCC) — which monitors the site for outages — suggests that the social media site will “likely to struggle with traffic at kickoff, and may crash.”

While giving even odds on a major crash, the source (who was given anonymity) also postulated a 90% possibility of something going wrong that users would see, even if it wasn’t a full site meltdown. “Traffic gets very spiky during big events, so any big play or controversial call will drive a very sudden surge of traffic — and the infrastructure would have to absorb the impact,” said the former employee. “Under other circumstances, there would be plenty of people watching things and making sure any hotspots get dealt with.”

This follows Twitter axing half of its staff and four-fifths of its contractors, while another 1,000+ employees recently resigned. An estimated one-third of the global incident team has been removed, according to one estimate.

There’s precedent for this: Twitter actually experienced major issues during the 2010 World Cup.

Musk, who may be spreading himself a bit thin between Twitter, SpaceX and Tesla (which has its own recent issues), seems unperturbed, tweeting on Friday to “Watch on Twitter for best coverage & real-time commentary.”

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