Twitter, LiveJournal, Facebook Trouble: A Perfect Storm – August 6, 2009

We’ve noticed an unusually high number of service disruptions today, all happening at around the same time.

First to fall was LiveJournal, which began reporting database problems on the LiveJournal Status page at 8:58 am ET; downrightnow immediately picked up the announcement.  Kudos to LJ for acknowledging the issue and keeping users informed.

LiveJournal Status

User reports of Twitter trouble started at 9:07 am and downrightnow immediately reported a possible outage.  By 9:36 am, we were receiving even more reports and upgraded our evaluation to a likely service disruption. At 9:40 am, TechCrunch picked up the story.  It wasn’t until approximately 9:55 am that Twitter posted its first official announcement, saying:

We are determining the cause and will provide an update shortly.

Another official update followed at around 11:00 am that broke the news: Twitter had identified a Denial of Service (DoS) attack.  We wish Twitter good luck in dealing with the attack and their announcements are definitely appreciated.  For those keeping score, we will also point out that downrightnow users were notified of potential service trouble 30 minutes before it was widely reported by TechCrunch, and 45 minutes before Twitter itself acknowledged the issue.  Thanks to everyone who submitted a report!

Twitter Status

Finally, our outage-weary users also began complaining of trouble at Facebook by 10:35 am.  We reported a temporary service disruption and have continued to monitor the social network’s status as intermittent user reports have continued to flow in, both from downrightnow users and on Twitter (which now appears mostly recovered).  Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t provide official announcements or updates on service issues, so its users are left in the dark (those who aren’t downrightnow users, that is).  We hope Facebook will follow the lead of other services such as LiveJournal and Twitter who communicate with their users during service trouble.  Until then, we’ll continue to keep you updated with the best information available.

As always, you can keep an eye on these services and others all in one place at downrightnow.com.

Update: According to Mashable, Facebook and LiveJournal have also confirmed that DDoS attacks are contributing to their service disruptions today.  Though it’s not clear whether the same attackers are behind all 3 incidents, the timing does raise suspicion.  Rumors that downrightnow commissioned the onslaught in order to boost traffic are entirely unsubstantiated. :)


6 Comments

Interesting that all three are down… I wonder if it’s related? Things like this are rarely coincidence, especially since a lot of sites have been getting hacked lately.

Comment by Elizabeth K. Barone
August 6, 2009 @ 12:27 pm EST

Ah, this is nice. I usually use http://downforeveryoneorjustme.com/ but found this via brandflakesforbreakfast.com and the addition of a blog talking about what went down (hehe) is a nice touch. I would never have noticed that Livejournal was down for example, so you keeping track of big hosts going down is a good newsfeed – like Elisabeth above I wonder if it’s related (perhaps a geographical location addition could be added to see if servers are located close to each other?). Count me in as subscribing and keep up the good work.

Comment by Dabitch
August 6, 2009 @ 12:46 pm EST

Productivity in office across North America shot up by 75% today. In unrelated news, social networking sites Facebook and Twitter have been offline since the AM…

But in all seriousness, I’ve already found this service invaluable. I provide tech support to a small business that uses social networking sites as marketing tools, and downrightnow immediately answered the “what’s going on?” telephone call.

Comment by Dan
August 6, 2009 @ 3:01 pm EST

“Rumors that downrightnow commissioned the onslaught in order to boost traffic are entirely unsubstantiated. :)”

You have to admit though, it is an ideal scenario for a downtime monitoring service! *stares accusationally*

With all seriousness though, this is a very interesting tool. How long before 4chan or somebody decides to #downrightnow pretty much everything in an attempt to scaremonger, I don’t know.

Comment by Toby Pinder
August 9, 2009 @ 5:42 pm EST

Not sure if everyone is aware of this but gmail is also down. DDOS attack number 4 for the day?

Comment by Jeremy
September 24, 2009 @ 1:37 pm EST

My mistake, gmail is not completely down, but is suffering some major problems with the contacts module and chat…

Comment by Jeremy
September 24, 2009 @ 1:38 pm EST

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downrightnow monitors the status of your favorite web services, combining user reports and official announcements to tell you when there's service trouble.

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