Elon Musk Plans To Axe Twitter Data Centers…. While He U-Turns On Axing Suicide Prevention Tools

So even on Christmas Eve, we’re still talking about Elon Musk and the dumb things that he wants to do in his desperate attempts to cut costs at Twitter. The latest brainwave that he’s had is to shrink the number of data centres that Twitter runs:

Twitter is shutting down its data center in Sacramento, and will downsize its facility in Atlanta, Platformer’s Zoë Schiffer reports.

The company operates three main facilities in the US, with its remaining site in Portland, Oregon, expected to take the increased load. It is not clear if Twitter has done an analysis of the migration and whether the remaining servers can handle the load. The move is expected to happen as soon as early January.

Twitter also has cloud contracts with Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud, but new owner Elon Musk is believed to be trying to renegotiate the contracts and cut expenses.

Now this cannot be stressed enough, pardon the pun. Having multiple data centres means that if an event happens where it puts increased load on Twitter’s infrastructure, there’s enough infrastructure to handle it. An example of this would be a major world event happens and people start Tweeting about it en masse. Seeing as Elon is a “ready, fire, aim” sort of guy, my guess is that he’s gambling that what remains of Twitter’s infrastructure can handle any load. You’ll excuse me if I am skeptical that this would be the case.

Then there’s this:

At the same time, he said that he plans to release new services that will require more storage and compute, including long-form high resolution video.

You need more compute power to run the things that you say that you want to bring to Twitter. But you’re cutting back on the compute power? Am I the only one here who fails to see the logic of what Elon is doing? I guess not based on this:

Former Twitter employee Sasha Solomon, who was fired after tweeting “sighhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” about Musk’s acquisition, responded to the data center closure report with: “Omfg like good luck when a failover needs to happen. So excited to see what 1-ish data center can do with all of Twitter’s traffic.”

Fellow former Twitter staffer Gerard Taylor added: “I’m just thinking about how many aurora files are hardcoded to only use SMF1. There’s going to be at least one outage guaranteed.”

Another ex-employee, Catherine Bonn, joked: “I mean, by the end of Q1 Twitter might have exponentially less traffic, so maybe it will work out fine?”

I’ve commented that since Elon took over at Twitter, he’s taking the platform on a suicide mission. And this move pretty much qualifies. But on a more serious note, Reuters reported on Friday that the company had removed the safety tool earlier in the week on orders from Elon. But in a now all too common U-turn, Elon has brought it back:

After publication of the story, Twitter head of trust and safety Ella Irwin confirmed the removal and called it temporary. “We have been fixing and revamping our prompts. They were just temporarily removed while we do that,” Irwin said in an email to Reuters.

“We expect to have them back up next week,” she said.

About 15 hours after the initial report, Musk, who did not initially respond to requests for comment, tweeted “False, it is still there.” In response to criticism by Twitter users, he also tweeted “Twitter doesn’t prevent suicide.”

I am going to go out on a limb and say that the Reuters report is likely accurate, and the blow back from that from that report made Elon U-turn for the second time in a week. The first time was that ill conceived plan to prohibit users from linking to other social media sites which didn’t even make it to 24 hours. Again, this is Elon being a “ready, fire, aim” sort of guy who makes decisions without thinking about them. In the process he’s highlighting why Twitter is doomed.

2 Responses to “Elon Musk Plans To Axe Twitter Data Centers…. While He U-Turns On Axing Suicide Prevention Tools”

  1. […] And I do mean mind blowing. Let’s start with Elon cutting data centres. Something that I reported on last […]

  2. […] sunsetting of some of their data centres is likely a factor in this instability. That is coming from the fact that he’s pausing […]

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