The outage also impacted emojis on Twitter, with many of them showing up in vertically-written text.

Representative image of three monitors used to depict a major internet outage
news Internet Tuesday, June 08, 2021 - 16:05

In an unusual development, several major websites across the world suffered an outage, with many returning an error page to users on Tuesday afternoon. This included many social media websites as well as multiple international news websites — all returned an error that said, “Error 503 Service Unavailable. Service Unavailable.” The websites that were affected included the official websites of The New York Times, Guardian, Vice, BBC, Forbes, Financial Times, The Verge, BuzzFeed and more. Other websites that were affected include Reddit, Twitch, Pinterest, and others. The websites of the government in the United Kingdom were also impacted. The outage also impacted emojis on Twitter, with many of them overflowing. Emojis on Twitter were showing up in vertically-written text. 

According to reports, the reason behind the outage seems to be because most of these websites use Fastly, a content delivery network, and Fastly suffered an outage on Tuesday afternoon. A product manager at Financial Times tweeted, “Fastly, the CDN provider, is having a massive outage, resulting in Twitch, Pinterest, Reddit, The Guardian, and the FT returning 503 errors.”

As of 3.51 pm IST, a status checker at Fastly said the company is continuing to investigate the issue. “We're currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services. We are continuing to investigate this issue,” a message on Fastly said. At 4.27 pm, Fastly said that the issue has been identified and a fix has been applied. "Customers may experience increased origin load as global services return," it said. 

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

Alex Hern, UK Technology Editor at the Guardian, tweeted that "Fastly runs an "edge cloud", which is designed to speed up loading times for websites, protect them from denial-of-service attacks, and help them deal with bursts of traffic. That technology inherently requires Fastly to sit between most of its clients and their users, meaning that if the service suffers a catastrophic failure, it can prevent those companies from operating on the net at all," Alex tweeted. 

This is a developing story

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