When Facebook goes down, others go with it

When something like Facebook leaves the internet, there are massive ripple effects. For example, a website meant to tell you if services are down called Is It Down Right Now struggles powerfully under the load of people trying to see Instagram’s status. Cloudflare, a company that runs a DNS service (DNS acts like a map for your web browser when it tries to find a website and is also the likely culprit in major outages), reports that he had to mobilize additional resources to track traffic from people trying to load Facebook (or Instagram or WhatsApp) over and over again.

If you need to check if other sites are down, you still have options. There’s the venerable DownDetector, as well as Down for Everyone or Just Me (DFEOJM informed me that it’s not just me who has problems with Is It Down). I’m going to need you all to decide among yourselves how to distribute the traffic between these two sites, so that you don’t crash them too.

It’s a little embarrassing.

In the hacking world, there is something called a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, where the attackers basically bundle up tons of computer resources and use them to drive tons of traffic to a website. If they have enough power, the website will go down – and that’s most likely what happened with Is It Down Right Now, except that instead of malicious hackers, it’s half the Internet that accidentally overwhelms the service by sheer combined will. I guess that’s what happens when Facebook’s status page goes down along with the rest of its services.

PS there is a funny side effect that comes from the fact that many people basically only use their internet connections for Facebook – many ISPs and cellular service providers, like T-Mobile, AT&T, and more, have also been reported as down, even though their services appear to be down. working properly. But because people can’t access Facebook, they can assume the problem is elsewhere.


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