Tumblr Goes Down, Facebook Has "Issues": When Technology Bugs Us

6 years ago

You know that feeling you get that your day is ruined when you discover a flat tire or a failed alternator when you're already running late? That's the same feeling we experience when our technology fails us.

Last week the blogging site Tumblr went down. It made headline news. Jolie O'Dell wrote about it on Mashable in After More Than 24 Hours Offline, Tumblr is Back. Cameron Moll described it in Back Online. He commented something that applies to anyone who depends on free services to work from sites like Wordpress, Blogspot, Gmail, Twitter and others.

While we don’t pay services such as Tumblr and Twitter in monetary means, we do pay them in usage, not to mention attention given to any revenue-generating services (i.e. ads or sponsored items). This usage and attention is what attracts the huge sums of investment dollars these kinds of companies acquire.

Users can get pretty incensed when the tools they want to use won't work. Sue Walsh wrote quite a rant at Gadgetell after a bug appeared on Facebook. This bug garnered quite a bit of attention.

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 06: Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a news conference at Facebook headquarters on October 6, 2010 in Palo Alto, California. Zuckerberg announced the addition of personal groups of friends and the ability to download everything you have posted to Facebook. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

At the Living Locurto Facebook page an early notice appeared about the bug. The early assumption there, and at Simply Zesty, was that it was a change at Facebook that could be fixed by the user making changes in their Privacy settings. Even while people were scrambling around in their privacy settings, these two sites, and many others, starting pointing to information that it was a bug.

On Facebook's Known Issues on Facebook page, it was acknowledged.

We are currently working on a fix that is keeping some Page admins from commenting on their Wall content. Thanks to those who helped us identify this issue.

The Facebook Known Issues page is a good place to look for information when something seems to have gone wrong on Facebook. Another good sources is All Facebook where they reported Facebook Page Admins Can't Reply to Fan Comments and gave updates as the problem was resolved.

Even a few moments of lack of service on Twitter can cause alarm among its users. Twitter has a Status Page that can be checked with there's an issue there.

Facebook is so big –- half a billion users –- that any problem experienced there affects millions of people. Look at this infographic from Vinco's Blog, showing how Facebook has grown in the last two years.

World Map of Social Networks

Even while we complain about Facebook and mourn for its convoluted and ineffective privacy controls, we continue to use it. We put everything there. Then when something on Facebook breaks, we can't function. If you depend on Facebook, my advice is to bookmark the Known Issues on Facebook page. It may help to keep you from pulling out your hair when you find something that isn't working as usual.

What's your advice for dealing with unexpected outages and bugs on your favorite sites?

Virginia DeBolt
Web Teacher | First 50 Words

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