March 24, 2010

Wikipedia Suffers Outage

Visitors to the widely popular free encyclopedia site Wikipedia were greeted with a DNS failure notification Wednesday afternoon. A spokesman for the site said access to English-language pages should be back up and running within the hour.

It is not clear what caused the outage. Wikipedia used its Twitter feed to direct users to a blog explaining the technical issues, but that link also returned a DNS failure.

Those who tried to reach the blog post were able to read the title in the address bar: "Global outage, cooling failure and DNS," leaving many thinking that there was a server cooling problem that caused the site to crash.

Users of Twitter were the first to notice the outage. Among the most amusing tweets was one that read: "Oh no! Wikipedia is down! [citation needed]."

Wikipedia is non-profit organization founded in 2001 by Jimmy Wales, who runs the site on donations. Wikipedia has often been criticized in the past for allegedly containing false information, including reporting that Senator Edward Kennedy died during Barack Obama's post-inauguration lunch last January, when, in fact, he had only suffered a seizure.

In recent years, many high-profile Websites have been the victims of overheating servers, including Last.fm's London servers.


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