Entries in Reddit (2)


A Tough Week for the Internet as Major Sites Experience Outages YORK) -- Last week it was YouTube for a few minutes, but this week it was more than just the streaming video service that wasn't available to Internet users.

Earlier this week, Amazon's Web Services went down causing sites that rely on Amazon's servers to go down too. Popular sites like Reddit, Pinterest, and Foursquare all experienced outages as a result. The outage lasted for a few hours on Tuesday, and naturally many took to Twitter to complain about the fact that people couldn't get to their services. Twitter itself experienced its fair share of outages.

On Friday a separate outage occurred. Google's App Engine, which powers other sites, along with Dropbox and Tumblr experienced outages. The outage lasted close to two hours for many of the services.

"At approximately 7:30 am Pacific time this morning, Google began experiencing slow performance and dropped connections from one of the components of App Engine. The symptoms that service users would experience include slow response and an inability to connect to services," Google wrote on its site.

Similarly Tumblr tweeted about the outage: "Tumblr is experiencing network problems following an issue with one of our uplink providers. We will return to full service shortly." Two hours later, Tumblr tweeted that the errors had been fixed and it was back online.

"It used to be back in the day, four or five years ago, systems weren't dependent on each other. But now even standard websites -- the things people go to all the time -- are made up of 50 or 100 services that are serving ads and tracking information," Brian Gracely, a Cloud computing expert and editor of, explained to ABC News. "If one of the big services or an Amazon or Google goes down it can affect hundreds of other services."

Tuesday and Friday's outages don't appear to be related, but according to the Internet Traffic Report, traffic across the web in North America declined Friday. The Next Web points out that the same report shows that there was a loss in packet data, which measures reliability of Internet connections.

These issues do not appear to be weather related either. However, many Internet providers will be preparing as Hurricane Sandy makes its way to the East Coast.

"These companies, like Google and Amazon, run the equivalent of what used to be 20th century factories. They are really large and occasionally they have an outage because they have a power failure or weather issues," Gracely said. "It happens periodically, and it used to happen more than we knew, but nowadays we are so connected we know about it more," told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Reddit Targets Alleged SOPA Supporters

John Foxx/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan denied co-sponsoring the Stop Online Piracy Act in a statement Thursday but his stand may have come too late, as the wrath of the internet has come pounding on his front door.

Introduced this fall, SOPA's supporters claim the measure will protect copyrighted media from being shared online; however, its detractors say it's a way to allow governments and copyrights holders to censor the Internet and shut down sites.

The Wisconsin representative is now dealing with the hive mind of, the same group that successfully pressured GoDaddy into withdrawing its SOPA support this week. Redditors have found a new strategy in their fight against the controversial act: narrowing down SOPA supporters who have seats up for grabs in this year's election cycle and funding their opponents.

Suggestions quickly rose up the Reddit ranks to remove from office Senators Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., but of the many potential targets who were discussed and debated on the site, eventually Reddit landed on Paul Ryan, R-Wis. In addition to being up for reelection this fall in Wisconsin, Ryan had previously released an unclear statement regarding his stance on SOPA that had the internet pegging him as a supporter.

Once word of Reddit's plan to remove Ryan from Congress started to spread, his challenger Rob Zerban was savvy enough to embrace the community right away, participating in an "Ask Me Anything" interview with the site's users and quickly denouncing both GoDaddy and SOPA , saying the act "would devastate the free nature of the internet by allowing unilateral closing down of popular websites." After less than 36 hours, "Operation Pull Ryan" was born and over $7,500 has been donated to Zerban's campaign.

Ryan's camp was quick to respond to the negative buzz, denying any support of the act, offering a press release stating, "Contrary to false reports, Congressman Paul Ryan is not a cosponsor of H.R. 3261, the Stop Online Piracy Act. He remains committed to advancing policies that protect free speech and foster innovation online and will continue to follow the House Judiciary Committee's deliberations on this issue carefully."

While Ryan's stance on SOPA is not set in stone, his opponent's firm statements against the act have been enough to captapult him to the top of Reddit's infamous front page for the last three days.

The impact of this campaign remains to be seen and it will be interesting to watch what happens with Ryan and Zerban as we near November's elections. Earlier this month, comedian Louis C.K. appealed to Reddit directly and saw over $1 million in revenue pour in for his online-only comedy special. If Reddit's campaign fundraising can come anywhere close to the bounty Louis C.K. took in a few weeks ago, there could be some serious cash in Rob Zerban's pockets before 2011 is up.

What's more, if an internet-wide rally to unseat one congressman works, it could send a huge message about the power of the internet community and its ability to change politics.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio