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Chances of Twitter being knocked offline have ‘dramatically increased’

The chances of Twitter being knocked offline have “dramatically increased” in the past 24 hours after hundreds of company staff rejected Elon Musk’s ultimatum of agreeing to work more intensely in order to stay at the company, an industry expert has said.

Matt Navarra said it was unlikely the site would go down in the next few days. But he warned it was under increased strain as key engineers who are charged with maintaining the site leave just as a major event for Twitter – the World Cup – begins this weekend.

Concerns have grown over the site’s ability to stay online after Mr Musk fired half of the company’s 7,500 workers, as well as a number of additional contractors.

Hundreds more are now reported to have left after not agreeing to an ultimatum from the billionaire this week that staying at the company to build a new “hardcore” Twitter would require longer, more intense working patterns.

Mr Navarra said that Twitter was “already at greater risk” of falling offline because of the initial job cuts, but warned there had now been a “significant shift” in that risk because of the latest exodus.

“There are reports of teams that are critical for a number of Twitter’s infrastructure systems now being completely empty – those teams have been completely decimated,” he told the PA news agency.

“And therefore if there’s anything that goes wrong or breaks or there’s a sudden surge in activity then the capability of Twitter to repair it or troubleshoot it is greatly reduced because of the lack of skilled engineers that the teams have now.”

A number of Twitter users have begun pointing their followers to their accounts on other platforms amid speculation over the site’s ability to stay online.

But Mr Navarra said he believes any imminent blackout is unlikely because certain locks prevent changes to the platform’s base code while Mr Musk reorganises the firm.

“There’s a code freeze in place and Twitter is kind of running on autopilot at the moment with its IT systems, and that a strategic move by Elon Musk to protect the stability of the platform while he figures out the next move,” Mr Navarra said.

“But with the World Cup coming up, that’s going to be real test of the resilience and capacity of Twitter to maintain a platform during a busy period.

“So if there’s going to be a time when it is going to go offline, I think the greatest risk at the moment is going to be during some of the key moments of the World Cup.”