Reddit Springs Back to Life: Internal Bug Fixed After Hours-Long Outage Impacts Web and Mobile Access

 by Troy Hanson March 17, 2023

In this article, we’ll look at the reasons behind the recent Reddit outage and how the company managed to fix the problem. 

We’ll also discuss the impact on users and the company’s communication throughout the event.

Key Takeaways:

  • Reddit experienced a significant outage on March 14 due to an internal systems issue.
  • Desktop and mobile web users were most affected, with the official mobile app only having a partial outage.
  • The company identified a fix and worked to restore services, which took several hours.
  • Communication with users was maintained throughout the event, including updates and humor.
  • The exact cause of the outage remains undisclosed.

The Day Reddit Stood Still: A Timeline of Events

On March 14, Reddit, the widely-known social media platform that revolutionized online forums, experienced a significant outage. 

The company acknowledged the issue through a short statement on their Reddit Status website, indicating that the platform was “offline.” 

While this was not the first time Reddit faced downtime, this instance stood out due to its duration.

Initial Confirmation and Lack of Explanation

The offline status was first confirmed on the Reddit Status page at 3:18 p.m. ET. At this point, the company had no explanation for the outage. 

Unlike previous occurrences, this disruption persisted for several hours. 

A second status update arrived around 4 p.m., with Reddit informing users that an “internal systems issue” was responsible for the downtime.

Discovery of a Fix and a Dash of Humor

A third status update surfaced around 6:40 p.m. the same day, with Reddit announcing that they had identified a fix for the issue. 

However, they also noted that it would take some time to implement the solution. In a lighthearted move, the company advised its frustrated users to “Ready your bananas” and introduced a subreddit called /r/downtimebananas to keep users entertained.

Desktop and Mobile Web Users Hit the Hardest

The Reddit Status webpage revealed that users were least likely to access the platform via a web browser, whether on a computer, tablet, or smartphone. 

The company’s official mobile app experienced a “partial outage,” allowing users to access some subreddits while the fix was in progress. Meanwhile, many users opted for third-party alternatives.

Recovery and Return to Full Operation

In an update on the Reddit Status website, the company stated that their teams were working to bring the website back to full functionality after implementing the fix. 

Just before 9 p.m. Eastern time, Reddit updated its status to show that all systems were operational, and the platform was running smoothly on all devices, including mobile web. 

The company has not provided further information on the specific cause of the outage.

Reddit Resumes Service After Hours of Downtime

Reddit restored its services following a prolonged disruption that impacted its websites and apps on Tuesday. 

While the platform was down, users repeatedly faced error messages as they tried to access Reddit using their Chrome browsers. 

Additionally, the iOS app’s Home and Discover tabs displayed content but no comment threads. 

By 8:41 p.m. ET, however, Reddit’s status page confirmed the resolution of the issue.

Updates and Twitter Reactions

Reddit posted its initial status message at 3:18 p.m. ET, indicating that the platform “is currently offline.” 

Over the next several hours, the company shared additional updates. 

During the outage, Reddit’s primary Twitter account lightheartedly remarked, “Enjoy the productivity. We’ll be up and running again soon.”

Widespread Problem and Decreased Reporting

The issue appeared to be extensive, with more than 60,000 people reporting problems on Downdetector at its peak. 

The number of reports seemed to decrease as the outage persisted, potentially indicating that fewer users were actively reporting issues due to the outage’s lengthy duration. 

The exact nature of the problem remains unclear.

Summary

Reddit experienced a major outage on March 14, caused by an internal systems issue. The company worked diligently to identify and implement a fix, which took several hours. 

Users were impacted differently depending on their device and access method, with desktop and mobile web users facing the brunt of the disruption. 

Throughout the event, Reddit maintained communication with its users, providing updates and even a touch of humor during the downtime. 

Despite the extended outage and widespread impact, Reddit successfully resolved the issue and restored full functionality to its platform. 

The specific cause of the outage has yet to be disclosed, highlighting the ongoing need for robust system maintenance and monitoring in the ever-evolving world of social media.

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