Home Technology Glitch On Musk’s X Temporarily Wipes Out Iconic Internet Images

Glitch On Musk’s X Temporarily Wipes Out Iconic Internet Images

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strongElon Musk account on X is seen displayed on a phone screen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on August 21, 2023. Many photographs exchanged between 2011 and 2014, while it was still known as Twitter, on the site appeared to have disappeared, according to some users of X. Some of the most memorable moments on the internet are currently missing as a result of this finding. JAKUB PORZYCKI/NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES/strong



By Sudhanshu Singh

Some X users found that numerous images shared between 2011 and 2014, when it was still known as Twitter, vanished from the platform. This discovery has meant that some of the internet’s most iconic moments are currently missing. This error made images from the said period disappear and affected related links, changing some into shortened versions.


What happened: A glitch temporarily wiped out X images and links between 2011 and 2014.

Top among the notable disappeared images was Ellen DeGeneres’ celebrated Oscar selfie from 2014, a post that had garnered 2.8 million reshares and 2 million likes. Other significant absences included pictures from the Arab Spring and posts about the popular K-Pop group BTS.

Elon Musk account on X is seen displayed on a phone screen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on August 21, 2023. Many photographs exchanged between 2011 and 2014, while it was still known as Twitter, on the site appeared to have disappeared, according to some users of X. Some of the most memorable moments on the internet are currently missing as a result of this finding. JAKUB PORZYCKI/NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

Tom Coates was among the early birds to highlight this issue when he shared his observation on Saturday, pointing out that images before 2015 were invisible. His revelation quickly gained traction, with over 15.2 million views. 

More vandalism from @elonmusk. Twitter has now removed all media posted before 2014. Thats – so far – almost a decade of pictures and videos from the early 2000s removed from the service.

For example, here’s a search of my media tweets from before 2014. https://t.co/FU6K34oqmA

— Tom Coates (@tomcoates) August 19, 2023

After this, a community note was appended to Coates’ post, clarifying that while the images might not be visible on the platform, they still reside on X’s servers.

Interestingly, before Coates, @DaniloTakagi, a Brazilian user, reported a similar concern on Friday.

Acabei de confirmar aqui. O Twitter/X removeu todas as mídias e imagens postadas de 2014 pra trás. Eles não tem dinheiro nem pra armazenamento mais. 

Artistas e criadores de conteúdo, vocês realmente ainda querem continuar usando esta rede? https://t.co/cKBPxqQ81V

— DΔniloTakagi – ⏳🔥🐧🌛⚡🔊 (@DaniloTakagi) August 17, 2023

Currently, images and links from 2011-2014, including the viral Ellen selfie, have sporadic availability. High-profile individuals, like X’s chairman Elon Musk, weren’t spared either. 

Some reports suggest that even Musk’s posts before December 2014 are only viewable by some. However, some Zenger News team members independently verified that his posts were visible when writing this.

X ventured into the realm of image-sharing in June 2011. Unsurprisingly, the glitch’s root cause remains with neither Musk nor the platform officially commenting on it.

Elon Musk account on X is seen displayed on a phone screen in this illustration photo taken in Krakow, Poland on August 21, 2023. Many photographs exchanged between 2011 and 2014, while it was still known as Twitter, on the site appeared to have disappeared, according to some users of X. Some of the most memorable moments on the internet are currently missing as a result of this finding. JAKUB PORZYCKI/NURPHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first hiccup for X. The platform’s reliability has been in question following several outages. Many attribute the increased disruptions to the significant workforce reductions initiated by Musk last October. 

A particularly severe outage occurred in February, resulting from an accidental deletion of vital data by an employee. Tragically, the team overseeing that data had already parted ways with the company, per Insider’s report.

Produced in association with Benzinga