Twitter has broken.

Users across the world were briefly shown an unhappy robot and a message that the site has broken, rather than the expected posts.

“Something is technically wrong,” the site’s error message read. “Thanks for noticing—we’re going to fix it up and have things back to normal soon.”

The website DownDetector reported a sharp spike in the number of problems with the site around 3pm UK time. The problems were visible across the world, with particular hotspots in the UK, US and Japan – though that might simply be a result of who is online and reporting issues at that time.

TweetDeck, Twitter’s own more advanced client, seemed to be loading fine.

Twitter was once so known for outages that the “fail whale” – a little cartoon that showed when the site was broken – became beloved and hated in equal measure by its users. But as the site has grown so has its reliability, and the site breaks far more rarely than it once did.

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