General Question

manuel_alarcon's avatar

Could twitter, friendfeed, and other text status services cause a eternal feedback loop between them?

Asked by manuel_alarcon (299points) November 23rd, 2008

i wonder if connecting all my services between them and updating could cause a eternal feedback loop…(can’t remember the exact term now)... just when you put a mirror against other.
And if this hypotetically could happen, what could be the consequences?

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4 Answers

richardhenry's avatar

What do you mean? Where updating your Twitter would update your FriendFeed, which would update your Twitter, which would update your FriendFeed, which would update your Twitter, which would update your FriendFeed… ?

That’s not how it’s designed though.

In any case, it’s up to the software developers to ensure that this can’t happen, and from my working with the Twitter API, it’s clear that they have a heap of abuse limiting in place to ensure that a flurry of the same update couldn’t happen.

dynamicduo's avatar

This would be Bug #1 any programmer of such software/web apps would encounter. I highly doubt this bug is still in any form of auto-syndication software.

If it did happen, I imagine it would continue until the capacity of the database (assuming the data is stored in one, which almost all web-apps do) was exceeded. Considering each post is not very large filesizewise, this would take a long long time. Most likely a sysadmin would notice the traffic spike and manually shut things down.

richardhenry's avatar

@dynamicduo: The current Twitter rate limit will kick in after 100 posts in 60 seconds, after which the connecting IP is flagged, requests are slowed to a grind, and if it continues they’ll shut it down and email you.

dynamicduo's avatar

Great! A perfect example of how the eternal feedback loop would not exist. :)

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