Missing Tweets

24 April 2009
5:41 PM

6 Comments

While looking at Twitter last week I noticed that updates were missing from my user timeline. According to Twitter, I didn’t post anything between March 20 and April 9. Through a little investigative coding (and some help from Twistory, I found that my updates were still part of the Twitter system, but not associated with my user timeline. For instance, I posted this message on April 1, but if you look at that part of my user timeline, it doesn’t appear.

Twitter has closed the support ticket on this issue, but my problem isn’t solved. I opened my own support ticket, but the only advice I’ve received so far has been about changing my bio.

Since Twitter is such a large service, fixing this problem probably isn’t a high priority if it only affects a couple people. But it’s hard to know if it affects you unless you feel like going through all your messages and counting. Since computers are pretty decent when it comes to counting, I built Missing Tweets to help people check if they are missing any updates. The script works on the assumption that Twitter still maintains the correct total count for a user’s updates. This is true in my case: Twitter says I have made 993 updates, but only 955 show up in my user timeline. That means that 38 are missing.

Most people I have tested this script on aren’t missing any tweets, but a few are. Test it on yourself, and let Twitter know if you are missing tweets.

This doesn’t work if you have more than 3200 tweets. You can still use Missing Tweets even if your account is protected. Your browser will prompt you for your username and password. This communication is happening directly between your computer and Twitter; my site isn’t involved in any way.

Update (2009-05-02): All of my tweets have been reconnected with my user timeline. I’m not missing any more tweets, but you can still check if you are.

Comments

Ryan: I hardly know about Twitter and I cannot Twit or is it Twitter. As for fixing your problem with missing Twits…it’s way beyond me! Pat

Thanks! I used it to check and I was not missing any tweets :)

Incoming Tweets are constantly missing. Twitter is clearly unreliable and I certainly treat it as such. The only real disappointment I had was missing the first ever Tweet from space. With the massive amount of free publicity heaped upon this fortunate startup, you would think they would make darn sure that the most primary and basic functions were working.

Shelby Bell

on May 13, 2009 4:26 AM

Hello, My name is Mike Festian and am a retired IT engineer. This comment is about ATT customer support. I could not make your respond button work, so I’m writting here. I have spent in excess of 9 HOURS trying to get help with there crap. They will have a hard time getting their “stuff” back!! I am a new customer and have never been so frustrated. They can’t use “credit reports” threats against me because I have no need to ever use credit, thank God!!
p.s. engineers need spell checkers

Mike Festian

on September 20, 2010 10:14 AM

I stopped using twitter because after a few days of posting several political tweets I found I could see my pm tweets after midday when the great american firewall kicks in in england.As posts were ok in the morning i made more to compensate! Shortly after that every post became invisible.Twitter is to big and should be made to notify tweeters when their tweets are being deliberately dissapeared.

maggooo: Sorry to hear your having problems with Twitter. When I originally wrote this post a couple years ago, the issue I was having was a technical one—some of my tweets had been disassociated from my timeline. Eventually they fixed that problem.

These days I coincidentally happen to work for Twitter and I can assure you that Twitter free speech very seriously. I’m not familiar with the great American firewall that you reference, but if your tweets appear to be missing, you may want to visit the support center.

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