DAA Daily

Why does the internet keep breaking?

By: Aryaman Bhatia, Science and Tech editor, The Pawprint 

Facebook blamed the outage on normal maintenance – its engineers had sent a command that accidentally unplugged Facebook data centers from the internet. Mr. Zuckerberg’s apology received around 827,000 responses. The messages varied from amusing to serious: “It was horrible, I had to talk to my family,” one Italian user said, perplexed: 

“I took my phone into the repair shop believing it was broken,” a Namibian wrote. And, of course, there are some who are really outraged and angry: “Everything cannot be turned off at the same time. The ramifications are extraordinary “a Nigerian businessman stated Another from India sought restitution for the interruption to their company.

What is evident today, if it wasn’t always obvious, is how dependent billions of people have grown on these services – not only for entertainment but also for critical communication and commerce. What is also evident is that this is not a one-time occurrence: experts believe widespread outages are becoming more common and disruptive. 

“Over the last several years, we’ve witnessed a growing reliance on a limited number of networks and organizations to supply substantial amounts of Internet content,” says Luke Deryckx, Chief Technical Officer of Down Detector.“And so, you know, we have these internet’snow days’ that happen today,” 

Mr Deryckx explains. “Something happens, and we all look at each other like, ‘Well, what are we going to do?” Mr Deryckx and his crew at Down Detector keep an eye out for disruptions in web services and websites.

 According to him, massive outages impacting key services are becoming more frequent and dangerous. “When Facebook has an issue, it has a huge influence not only on the internet, but also on the economy and, you know… society.” Millions, if not hundreds of millions, of people are simply sitting around waiting for a small crew in California to fix something.

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