World

Google’s outage an unnerving reminder of our dependence on technology

Unnerving incident reveals how reliant people are on cloud services, says expert

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA: Google services, including YouTube, Gmail and Google Drive, were restored for most people yesterday following a global outage that affected nearly all users, which number in the millions.

Google's website that logs outages said the services that were affected for nearly an hour should be restored for most users, Reuters reported.

Within minutes, social media sites were awash with hashtags including #googledown and #YouTubeDOWN as hundreds of millions of Internet users tried vainly to connect to the US search engine, AFP reported.

The outage began at approximately 7.50pm (Singapore time) yesterday and lasted about 40 minutes.

The company has some of the most widely used services in the world. YouTube records more than two billion logged-in users each month, with people watching over a billion hours of video on its platform.

"We're back up and running!", the video platform said in a tweet.

It had earlier tweeted that many users were having issues accessing YouTube.

According to outage monitoring website DownDetector, more than 12,000 YouTube users were affected in various parts of the world, including the US, Britain and India.

Outages on select Google apps are not uncommon, but yesterday's outage affected all its popular services, including Google Hangouts, Google Chats and Google Meet, products that people have used extensively during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The outage had an additional ramification for consumers who use its Home service to control smart devices, such as house lights - numerous users complained on Twitter that they had been plunged into darkness, The Straits Times reported.

UNNERVING REMINDER

BBC Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones said it was an unnerving reminder of how dependent we have become on cloud services.

He said: "The Google crisis may have been brief - it took services offline for less than an hour - but it was an unnerving reminder of just how dependent millions of people have become on services in the cloud.

"Anyone who tried to open a Google Document or respond to an urgent Gmail message will have felt a sense of dread when the message came back, 'Please try reloading this page, or coming back to it in a few minutes'."

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