the internet responds (Wired UK)


The BBC experienced a major technical issue on Thursday morning, with all of its websites and several of its digital services offline.

“We’re aware of a technical issue affecting the BBC website and are working to fix this now. We’ll update you as soon as we can,” the BBC press office said on Twitter.

The internet did not cope well with this news.

There was not immediate word on what caused the issue. It is entirely possible the problem is due to internal system problems, and not a third party. Regardless, the apparent temporary collapse of BBC News, iPlayer, live streams of radio and TV stations online and virtually every single one of the Beeb’s digital presence was so shocking, that users on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites took the situation as a sign of the apocalypse anyway.

I advise everyone to scream and dive through the nearest window #EndOfTheWorld” said @bill1303.

Oh oh, the BBC website is down. RUN FOR COVER, THE END IS NIGH!,” added @domcovkid.

The BBC website is down – this is the first sign of the apocalypse right? #Error500” said @DaiTheBay.

Others pointed out that the outage could (theoretically) have serious consequences, since the broadcast of Radio 4 is still supposedly one of the perhaps apocryphal “letters of last resort”, by which crews of nuclear submarines are assured that civilisation has not collapsed:

#bbcdown woaaaahhhhhh big day, BBC website is down! I can only imagine the panic on the nuclear subs using it as a touchstone of humanity!” said @stuartmorrison, reasonably.

Similarly, others asked the internet if the outage meant the country was at war (or at least more obviously than it already is in various parts of the world).

Are we at war? BBC website is down,” asked @kezzer70.

#bbc website down? #bbc site offline? A communications disruption can mean only one thing—invasion!” said @jameswilksey.

I see the BBC websites are all down – remarkably strange. Hope that is just a technical hitch and nothing more sinister #bbc @BBC” said @pm7285.

Still others wondered if the outage was the sign of a different sort of apocalypse — that facing BBC funding in the context of 2016’s wide-ranging review of the license fee.

BBC website down. Sign of things to come? Or, maybe trialling a new way to save money, only operate between 9am and 5pm. #bbccuts” @pm7285 added.

… Or if a certain popular actor’s appearance in an Agatha Christie three-parter proved too much for the iPlayer to bear.

BBC iPlayer is down. And I THINK we all know why. *Stares accusingly at Aidan Turner’s abs* *Continues staring*” said @laurenbravo.

Finally Twitter did at least take solace in the fact that the BBC has a truly excellent error page.

“BBC website is down. You know it’s bad when the chalkboard picture is on fire,” said @imrichardmorris.

As is the way of these things, however, the situation was not long-lasting: the BBC was back online, at least temporarily, by 11 am on Thursday.

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31 December 2015 | 8:32 am – Source:


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