January 30, 2014
Google’s Latest Gmail Glitch May Have Deleted Your Emails
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
This week search giant Google reported that it had resolved a glitch that may have caused some incoming emails to its Gmail service to be marked as spam while other emails were simply deleted. On Tuesday the company assured users this bug was fixed, but encouraged users to carefully monitor their incoming email for the next couple of weeks.
Some Gmail users received the following notification, as first reported by the Verge:
"You may have been impacted by a recent issue in Gmail that inadvertently caused some actions (e.g. delete, report spam) taken while viewing a message to be applied to a different message. The issue occurred between January 15 and January 22 and is now fixed."
"We encourage you to check your Trash and Spam folders before February 14, 2014 for any items you did not intend to delete or mark as spam and move them back to your inbox. We apologize for any inconvenience."
According to online reports this particular outage occurred following a software update on a few Gmail platforms that included the iOS app, the mobile browser version or the offline version of Gmail. However, this particular snafu apparently wasn’t all that widespread.
Google has since announced this issue did not affect all users, and it has been fixed. To date it is still not clear exactly how many users may have had emails inadvertently marked as spam or simply deleted. As noted, the company has encouraged all users to check trash and spam folders to ensure that no email was inadvertently deleted or marked as spam.
This also was not the only glitch that Gmail users have experienced this month. On January 24, Gmail along with other Google services actually went down for approximately 10 percent of users, and the particular outage lasted for nearly half an hour. The search giant attributed this to a piece of buggy code.
“Earlier today, most Google users who use logged-in services like Gmail, Google+, Calendar and Documents found they were unable to access those services for approximately 25 minutes,” Ben Treynor, vice president of engineering at Google, posted on the company’s blog. “For about 10 percent of users, the problem persisted for as much as 30 minutes longer. Whether the effect was brief or lasted the better part of an hour, please accept our apologies—we strive to make all of Google’s services available and fast for you, all the time, and we missed the mark today.”
“The issue has been resolved, and we’re now focused on correcting the bug that caused the outage, as well as putting more checks and monitors in place to ensure that this kind of problem doesn’t happen again,” Treynor added. “If you’re interested in the technical explanation for what occurred and how it was fixed, read on.”
Reports of the most recent outage hit Twitter at 2pm ET, and apparently it affected Gmail as well as Google+ and Google Hangouts. While the official statement from Google claimed this disruption lasted 25 minutes, PC Mag reported the Gmail problem was only fixed by 3:23pm with the issues for Google+ and Hangouts lasting about another 10 minutes. That suggests the outage may have lasted more than a hour.
For some users it no doubt felt like an eternity.