Internet Outage: Which Websites and Services Have Been Affected by the Fastly Problem | the Internet

The internet outage caused by a cloud service failure quickly took down thousands of websites in several countries, affecting governments and businesses in industries ranging from media to online retail and telecommunications.

The disruption was relatively brief, lasted just over an hour in most cases, and occurred mid-morning UK time before many people in the US had turned up. awake.

Nonetheless, it stifled the flow of millions of pounds of revenue to companies like Amazon, Boots, and eBay. He also cut the main government news portals.

Here’s how large businesses and organizations have been affected: –


All government websites using the domain were wiped out by the outage, which temporarily shut down essential services such as the online system through which taxpayers can file annual returns with HM Revenue and Customs .

The government said it was investigating reports that users were unable to book Covid-19 tests online out of “urgency.”

A Twitter user said he was unable to complete a passenger locator form, a requirement for passengers arriving from overseas.

The official Twitter account said: “This is a larger issue that affects a number of other non-government sites. We are urgently investigating this. “

Visitors to the official White House website were also greeted with a message likely to have been seen by hundreds of millions of Internet users on Tuesday: “Error 503 service unavailable”.

Retail and online services

Amazon, eBay and Boots were among the known retailers whose websites disappeared during the outage. Amazon and Boots alone report a combined annual turnover of £ 25bn in the UK, meaning they would typically earn almost £ 3m between them in an average hour. .

Even Amazon’s own cloud computing company, Amazon Web Services, was down. Asked for a comment, an Amazon spokesperson pointed to an online dashboard that showed services were functioning normally, despite users reporting persistent issues.

Payment provider PayPal processed $ 936 billion (£ 661 billion) in transactions in 2020, or roughly $ 106 million per hour. It was one of the most used services to be unavailable during part of Tuesday.

Royal Mail also appears to have been affected, with users reporting difficulties making payments.

Other retailers whose websites fell during the outage included Etsy, the marketplace for sellers of niche and homemade products, and Canadian e-commerce site Shopify.

The Deliveroo online food ordering app has also apparently been affected.


The Guardian was one of a number of successful publishers. According to analysis of data from Google’s AdSense platform, outlets lost around $ 300,000 in revenue over the period as they missed clicks that would typically result in payments from customers. advertisers. The calculation, carried out by the connective3 marketing agency, covers lost revenue on affected media sites, including the New York Times, Financial Times, CNN, Al Jazeera, Bloomberg, The Independent and the Evening Standard.

The BBC was among the websites that crashed due to Fastly’s fault.

Streaming and social media

One of the most well-known services to suffer was Spotify, the music streaming platform. Spotify recorded UK revenue of $ 836 million in 2020, indicating that each hour of lost music playback would cost it on average almost £ 100,000.

The Reddit discussion board site suffered disruption, as did the image-sharing site Pinterest, while Twitch, a live video game streaming site, and Hulu and HBO Max, video-on-demand platforms. , were victims of the blackout. The issue affected some services on platforms that were otherwise unharmed. Twitter users were briefly unable to use the emojis because the servers that host them were affected.


The Downdetector website, which monitors Internet outages, also reported issues for Weight Watchers, video hosting site Vimeo, fundraising platform Kickstarter, image sharing site Imgur, dev platform GitHub software, the Quora question-and-answer service, and website builder Squarespace.

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