In this day and age, the internet is more an integral part of a person’s everyday social and entertainment life. Some times of the day will be set aside in order to sit in front of a computer, or a tablet or smartphone that is online, watching streaming videos and content or browsing through a social media feed. That is why a sudden abrupt shutdown of any online platform along those lines, no matter how brief, can feel electronically debilitating to internet regulars. Viewers of pioneer video-sharing website YouTube experienced that first-hand when the platform went down this Tuesday night.
USA Today reports that YouTube went offline the evening of October 16 in several significant areas around the world. The results depended on where the platform’s videos were. Visitors to YouTube.com itself found only a web page loaded halfway, with only subscribed channels listed but no videos shown. Entering the channels led only to a 500 Internal Server error message accompanied by a “monkey with hammer” image. On the other hand, YouTube vids that were embedded onto other websites showed only the preview image (the video section shown when it is stopped) that has been overwritten by lines of code.
According to Down Detector, a web service tracking site inactivity due to whatever reason, the YouTube outage began 9:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, and affected users primarily in the US East and West Coasts, Europe, and Japan, though there were service interruptions reported outside these areas as well.
The video-sharing platform announced its awareness of the situation on Twitter, but remained mum on the cause of the problem or when the outage will be fixed. As it turns out they did not need to give a restoration time after all; YouTube operations went back to normal about an hour later.
But while the website was down, internet users were as caught off guard as the earlier outage that took hold of Instagram earlier this month. Much like YouTube, its viewers went on Twitter to announce what had happened and to vent, though thankfully mostly in humor. #YouTubeDown instantly became the fifth most Trending Topic in the US for the duration of the momentary service interruption.
Image courtesy of Daily Express