Twitter, Skype, Amazon: why does the internet keep breaking?

The Guardian // 30th September 2015

Powered by article titled “Twitter, Skype, Amazon: why does the internet keep breaking?” was written by Hannah Jane Parkinson, for on Monday 21st September 2015 13.52 UTC

First it was Twitter, the desktop client of which went down for over an hour last week, (that’s almost a year in Twitter time). Then it was Amazon Web Services, which glitched and took with it the likes of Netflix, Medium and Buffer over the weekend. Today, Skype has lost connection, scuppering those wishing to talk to long-distance other halves or interviewing for that job on a different continent.

What is happening? Why is the internet breaking? And isn’t this all a bit Paper magazine November 2014?

Admittedly these blips in service haven’t been all-encompassing – Skype’s web client appears to still be functioning, but app users are “unable to change their status, start Skype calls or see their contacts”. Meanwhile, when went down, users could still tweet via third party clients, such as Hootsuite and Tweetdeck and the app, just not from the desktop web.

Amazon Web Services’ issues were slightly more severe, however, restricting restricting users’ ability to Netflix and chill. Not good. Many key internet services all dropping off in the space of a week is not ideal, given how integral a part of our lives these platforms have become.

Remember when we were all terrified that the internet would fill up (possibly with cat gifs) and there would be no space left? Not to mention the panic that surrounded the Millennium, or Y2K, Bug.

These possible, internet-ending scenarios strike fear into our hearts because they offer a glimpse at what life would be like without surfing lunchtime news, the dopamine hit from social-media notifications and YouTube blooper reels.

(Although, imagine a life without trolls sliding into your mentions to land a death wish at 11am on a Monday morning …; imagine a life with much less fomo, and where a prospective partner wouldn’t Google you before your first meeting).

Twitter is back up and working, as readers will probably be aware, given the fine tweets of last night (the brilliant Viola Davis becoming the first woman of colour to win the Emmy for best actress in a drama; the less heartwarming #piggate trending topic).

Amazon Web Services is also back in the game. Skype has released a statement on its blog and taken to social media to apologise for the inconvenience, and to reassure users that the issue is being fixed. Let’s hope so, because there are people out there who need to talk face-to-face with holiday flings that would have best been left in the past. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010


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