When Twitter Goes Down, Babies Die

Twitter's uptime is generally over 99%. Every now and then they dip below that (less so now than in the past), and whenever they do, the internets freak out. You'd think the lives of children were at stake. Feeling the pressure of a million tech bloggers waving their fail whale flags wide and high, Twitter published a mea culpa yesterday that not only recognizes the "gravity" of the situation, but also promises some more fail for the foreseeable future:

Should Twitter have been ready? Record traffic and unprecedented spikes in activity are never simple to manage. However, we were well aware of the likely impact of the World Cup. What we didn't anticipate was some of the complexities that have been inherent in fixing and optimizing our systems before and during the event.

What's next? Over the next two weeks, we may perform relatively short planned maintenance on the site. During this time, the service will likely be taken down. We will not perform this work during World Cup games, and we will provide advance notification.

How magnanimous of them to schedule their downtime around the World Cup games! Could the world have survived without a few hours of vuvuzela tweets?

Okay, I'll give you that Twitter was somewhat important last year during Iran's Green Revolution, when, at the request of the U.S. Government, they actually delayed some planned maintenance in order to keep the site up.

But seriously, no maintenance windows during the World Cup? Are we all so addicted to the dopamine squirt from reading 140 character messages that we can't possibly enjoy some soccer matches without it?

If Twitter is so crucial to the world's infrastructure, then it needs to be an open format supported and maintained by a federation of the world's governments. If not, we don't have much right to complain when the service is down for a few hours here and there.