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Internet outage: Many social media, news and govt websites down

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Users of thousands of popular websites including Reddit, Github, Twitch, Amazon, Spotify, CNN, Vimeo, Twitter and The Verge on Tuesday faced outages due to a glitch at US-based cloud computing services provider, Fastly.

Notably, due to the glitch, websites of social media platforms, news and governments were affected. The issues reportedly affected UK government websites, so British citizens were unable to renew passports, apply for tax allowances, or obtain driving licenses during the outage.

Fastly said it was investigating “the potential impact to performance with our CDN services,” according to its website. Most of Fastly’s coverage areas were facing “degraded performance”, the website showed.

CDN servers act as proxy servers and cache some data as close to the user’s location as possible to improve the performance, delivery, and availability of Internet services across geographies. Companies such as Fastly run a global network of CDN services that help to vastly improve the loading time of webpages.

Later, Fastly tweeted, “We identified a service configuration that triggered disruptions across our POPs globally and have disabled that configuration. Our global network is coming back online.”

Issue reported by Reddit users

Nearly 21,000 Reddit users reported issues with the social media platform, while more than 2,000 users reported problems with Amazon, according to outage monitoring website Downdetector.com. Amazon’s Twitch was also experiencing an outage, according to Downdetector’s website.

Websites operated by news outlets including the Financial Times, the Guardian, the New York Times and Bloomberg News also faced outages.

Some websites back online

Some websites are back online, though, as users point out that these websites are accessible in certain regions, while for some they are still down.

It seems that the outage is due to some servers that handle a large part of the internet infrastructure because the websites that are down are showing a “Details: cache-maa10224-MAA” error. The issue may be with some content CDN service on which many websites rely. A large number of websites rely on Cloudflare or Amazon delivery networks.

Earlier incidents

In 2017, a problem at Amazon’s AWS hosting business took out some of the world’s biggest websites for several hours across the entire US east coast. In 2020, a problem with Cloudflare, another CDN company, led to a half-hour outage for most of the internet in major cities across Europe and the Americas.

 

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