September 12, 2013
Twitter Experiencies Brief, Global Outages Thursday
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Social media service Twitter experienced an outage that began Thursday afternoon. The micro-blogging service was reportedly down for users of the Firefox browser around 1 pm Pacific Time, but was still operating on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It was reportedly also working on Google’s Chrome browser as of mid-afternoon on Thursday, at least intermittently.
Numerous users took to the website Isitdownnow.com to report difficulties accessing the service via Firefox. Users from around the world, including Europe and Singapore, noted a problem loading the site with Mozilla’s popular open-source based web browser.
The outage tracking site Downrightnow.com also noted, “Twitter may be experiencing issues right now. It’s a key indicator of service trouble, so our status information might be temporarily incomplete.”
“Some users may experience issues trying to access twitter.com,” the company posted in an official blog post. “Access to Twitter on mobile apps is not affected.
“Update: As of 14:19 PDT, this issue has been resolved. Due to a code-related error, a series of web servers went down from 13:48-14:19 PDT, making the twitter.com website inaccessible for some users. We apologize for any inconvenience.”
Users on various sites reported service difficulties across all browsers, although the problem appeared to be most apparent with Firefox. Service was reportedly restored by 4:30 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
The Chicago Tribune reported shortly before 3 p.m. CDT that Facebook, YouTube and Yahoo Mail also suffered intermittent outages on Thursday.
The newspaper reported that some users trying to access Facebook experienced trouble throughout the day, while issues with the video sharing service YouTube appeared to begin just before noon. Both were more or less back to normal by 2 p.m. CDT on Thursday. Yahoo Mail also experienced problems on Thursday, but appeared to have them ironed out by mid-afternoon.
Twitter was down for around 30 minutes last week when its homepage went dark at around 2 p.m. PDT Wednesday afternoon, reported Geekwire. This is just the latest in a series of high-profile outages, some of which were the result of targeted attacks while others were simply the product of internal glitches.
In August Twitter, the website for The New York Times, and other sites were taken down in an attack by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA). The SEA also took credit for attacks against the websites of the Huffington Post, Twitter and the Times. The group of activist hackers reportedly support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has taken to attacking western news media outlets and other high-profile targets.
More recently the sites of social media services Instagram, Vine, Airbnb, Flipboard and others went down due to an Amazon Web Services server issue. AWS was not apparently the victim of a related attack but rather its outage was due to issues with its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) offerings, relational database and load-balancing services. Amazon offers their EC2 services to host web applications.
These issues began just before 4 p.m. EDT on August 25 and and were mostly resolved less than an hour later. IFTTT and Netflix may have also been affected as a part of this outage, though Instagram was the first to publicly acknowledge the issue on Twitter. Vine followed shortly thereafter.