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What does the error message "There was an error updating the list" mean? I got it while trying to add someone to a new, private, list using twitter's web site with Safari.

Speculation includes:

  1. Too many users in a list
  2. Too many lists
  3. Browser issues
  4. A bug in twitter
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    It's probably one of those generic errors to cover all sorts of issues – Eight Days of Malaise Apr 21 '12 at 1:52
  • @EightDays sounds right. Can you Make that comment an answer? – Andrew Grimm Apr 21 '12 at 5:10
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This is one of those generic error messages that are used to cover all sorts of issues.

It allows the website or web app to provide a level of abstraction so that users only need to know that something is up and to either wait a bit before they retry or follow-up with support or the developers.

It's deliberately vague because the user doesn't need to know the exact details of what's gone wrong which may include:

  • timeout issues
  • temporary code changes
  • permission errors from missed database connections
  • etc.

These things are usually temporary and retrying later usually will go through fine.

If not, then the error message will show more details or there will be a related post on the site or its blog to detail what's happening and/or why.

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