Large parts of the internet broke after an apparent problem with the infrastructure underpinning many of the world’s biggest websites.
Everything from Reddit to the New York Times and the UK government’s website stopped loading, with users seeing a range of error messages. The Independent’s website was also hit by the issues.
The issues appeared to be the result of a problem with Fastly, a cloud computing company that provides key services to many websites.
Visitors to affected websites saw a message reading “Fastly error: unknown domain”.
Outages of various sizes were reported at Reddit, Twitch, Amazon, HBO Max, CNN, Etsy, and Paypal, according to the tracking website Down Detector.
Many of the world’s biggest news organizations, including the Guardian, New York Times, New Statesman, Financial Times, and The Independent were also affected by the problems.
On its “service status” page, which had at times been offline itself, Fastly said that the issue was with its CDN or content delivery network. That is a set of servers distributed across the world that serves up the content that makes up websites, with the aim of ensuring that data is sent as quickly as possible.
The importance of such technology to the functioning of the internet also means, however, that any issues with CDNs can immediately send websites offline.
In an update posted to that page, Fastly said that it is “currently investigating potential impact to performance with our CDN services”. Two further updates posted since only made clear that the company is “continuing to investigate this issue”.