The Great Social Media Brownout

Twitter and Livejournal completely fell over around an hour ago, and Facebook has been bouncing up and down like a yo-yo. News sites and blogs are strangely silent about it all. TechCrunchers are speculating a little.

DDoS, domino effect, outlandish coincidence, or something else? Who knows? All I know is that good old IRC and Dreamwidth are keeping my chatter needs satisfied for now.

Update: These graphs from DownRightNow (for livejournal and twitter ) are kinda neat, though I can’t vouch for their accuracy. Certainly Twitter seems to have been dead as a doornail, not just a little bit glitchy.

Categories: technology

Tags: , , , , ,

10 replies

  1. I was just about to write something highly insightful about how this had affected me as I came home after Rock Eisteddfod to a blank Tweetdeck OOS message, but I just looked at Tweetdeck again and Twitter’s back up! (and the sooner people realise it, the sooner Facebook will be usable again)
    *off to social networks*

  2. Oh, comments crossed.

    So, are the same DOSsers hitting LJ? Big attack if so.

  3. We have no idea at the moment, as far as I can tell. People have speculated that Facebook only fell over because people were going there instead of to Twitter, but do you find that really convincing? A handful others (TechCrunch commenters) are all “OMG foreign terrorists!” which I don’t find terribly convincing either. Though I suppose you never know.
    I guess maybe we’ll find out tomorrow.

    • The idea that Twitter falling over means an overflow that throttles Facebook would be an interesting illustration of how much ground Twitter’s cut out from FB’s expansion plans, if true.
      I’ve certainly noticed since following folks on Twitter that there’s a lot of lowkey social chat there that IMO used to happen on blogs, LJs and FB. People find the various Twitter clients beeping at them more immediately satisfying, or whatever. I guess most of those people are also on FB, so it would be a natural fallback. As you say, we’ll see.
      I doubt the terrorists will come for Twitter/LJ first, either. Not terribly convincing at all.

  4. LJ has been having server problems for a while, so it goes up and down on a regular basis.

    Yesterday JF was down and it was awful. WOE.

  5. The Register has an update with one theory:

    Researcher: Twitter attack targeted anti-Russian blogger: Joejobbing Cyxymu
    As Twitter struggled to return to normal Wednesday evening, a trickle of details suggested that the outage that left 30 million users unable to use the micro-blogging service for several hours – at least in part – may have been the result of a spam campaign that targeted a single user who vocally supports the Republic of Georgia.
    According to Bill Woodcock, research director at the non-profit Packet Clearing House, the torrent of traffic that brought the site to its knees wasn’t the result of a traditional DDoS, or distributed denial of service attack, but rather people who clicked on a link in spam messages that referenced a well-known blogger called Cyxymu.

    • I haven’t read much on the tech blogs about it, but quite a few folks were saying that Twitter needed to have more servers and mirrors to distribute the load. Interesting that they were essentially a collateral casualty though. Apparently Friendfeed was down as well as Twitter and LJ – I wonder what specificially they had in common that this attack was able to exploit?

  6. Where do you hang out on IRC? I can never find anywhere good to hang out these days, but I’m a social animal and I have chatting needs, man!

  7. Where do you hang out on IRC?

    (answered by email)

%d bloggers like this: