Twitter gets the munchies again, eats user avatars

It's temporary, Twitter says, and due to a caching problem, but many users' Twitter icons have been gone for over a day now.

Twitter recently changed its default user avatar--you know, the one that pops up if you haven't uploaded a picture of your own--to a cute little bird icon. Unfortunately, then the service got a little bit overzealous and started chomping up existing users' photos, replacing them with the defaults. Oops!

"Many people in my timeline suddenly have default user icons," Twitter engineer Alex Payne posted to his Twitter account on Thursday. "This is probably not intentional. I have inquired with colleagues."

By the time the end of the day rolled around on Friday, there were still plenty of missing user avatars.

"We're having an issue with disappearing user and background images," Twitter wrote on its status blog on Friday morning. "Those affected will have their custom images replaced by defaults. This is due to a caching error on our side which means that your images are not lost and have not been deleted. They are not displaying correctly and we are working to get them to load properly."

This is the second time that a disappearing-user-avatar incident has occurred on Twitter this year. Back in April, infrastructure problems resulted in many Twitter user icons temporarily disappearing --including CEO Evan Williams'. It's unclear whether the same or a similar error downed avatars this time around.

 

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