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Twitter have not made any announcements or responded to any questions (any many people have been asking). This probem has been ongoing for at least three weeks (or, at least, that is when I first became aware of it).
There's been a lot of talk about messed up follower counts and the like, but this post is about the loss of messages.
I think most people treat tweets (say THAT fast 10 times!) as ephemeral, though I've occasionally tried to hunt down a cool resource that I recall hearing about in a buddy's tweet.
A fix went in nearly a week ago, and they say it should take a week or so for it to correct all of the accounts with missing stuff...