Wikipedia back online after brief outage caused by severed cables

Several users were unable to access online encyclopedia, Wikipedia on Monday as the service suffered an outage, lasting over two hours. Wikipedia, not attributing the outage to any malicious activity, added that two data cables cut accidentally near Florida had caused the service to go down briefly.


It all started at around 1930 IST on Monday. Although the mobile site of the service seemed unharmed, the outage affected the service's API - application programming interface, which according to reports had issues even after the main site had been restored to normalcy. The outage, as per the site's Performance and Availability History affected the service's API, https services, mail, payments, Ubuntu mirror, the Wiki platform, the Wikimedia blog, the main page of the Wikimedia Foundation, among others. 


However, in a following tweet by the site, it was affirmed that the sites were mostly back up now and that the outage was caused by a fiber optic cable being cut near its Florida data center.

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A tweet put up by the site, addressing the issue read, "We're having some technical issues, but our engineers are working on it. We'll be back soon!"Users unable to access the service, took to popular microblog Twitter. One user tweeted, "Breaking: #Wikipedia is down. Millions on Twitter are prevented from being instant experts during online arguments." While another tweet read, "Oh no! The #Wikipedia is down! If society collapses in the next few hours from lack of knowledge, we'll know the reason."


Wikipedia is a popular and widely used service. The outage that lasted for two hours did seem to affect the service's enormous userbase extensively. Early in January this year, Wikipedia went down in a 24-hour blackout in protest against the SOPA and PIPA bills. The online encyclopedia, at the time added that even though the bills were currently dormant, they have not completely disappeared. During the blackout, users trying to perform a Wikipedia search for any topic other than SOPA or PIPA, were greeted with a black screen saying that Wikipedia is down in protest for 24 hours.


Just recently, there were reports about yet another popular service, Gtalk, going down for a brief period causing much inconvenience to its users. The incident was followed by Twitter facing an outage, too.  During Gtalk outage, users weren't able to send messages to their contacts. Those using the service at the moment, received a message saying that their chats weren't being received.


Recently, the popular video-calling service Skype caused users discomfort as a strange bug was found sending instant messages to the wrong people on a user's contact list. Skype later confirmed the bug was sending random messages to wrong contacts. The bug was brought to light when users discovered it and went on to post the strange occurrence on Skype's Support Network. Addressing the issue, Skype had written, "Based on recent Skype customer forum posts and our own investigation over the past couple of days, we have identified a bug that we are working hard to fix."

Published Date: Aug 07, 2012 11:10 am | Updated Date: Aug 07, 2012 11:10 am