Reddit is down for emergency maintenance

Reddit is down! This doesn't happen often, so many are waiting patiently to find out why their beloved social bookmarking site has temporarily lost its functionality.

Every once in a while, those of us who are the most voracious of Redditors will see the "ow, Reddit is down" or "you broke Reddit" images when the server load is heavy. Typically, a refresh just a few seconds later will alleviate the issue and it's back to life as usual. Not this time, though. As of the time of this writing, Reddit has been down for about an hour; by far, the longest I've personally seen Reddit down.

I happened to be browsing Reddit right when the problems started, so after about 5 minutes filled with refreshes yielding 502 gateway errors, blank pages, and other telltale signs of significant problems, I finally hit up Twitter to search and see if others were experiencing issues. And they were. As a matter of fact, Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, quickly addressed the issue (which I noticed in the Twitter search results):

(The lesson for some of you there is to remember to try searching Twitter to see if others are experiencing problems with a site that you are as well. Or, you could always try the "down for everyone or just me" Web site.)

Shortly following, Reddit put up a temporary placeholder as follows:

Additionally, the temporary placeholder was a dynamic page that provided some interesting tidbits as the page refreshed. For instance, I had no idea that Reddit is open source! As of this very moment, though, Reddit has been restored in "emergency read-only mode," as seen here:

So, even though millions or Redditors currently cannot log in, they can at least resume their daily Reddit browsing rituals. Likewise, their employers can now rest assured that the 10-20 minute increase in employee productivity was, indeed, merely a side effect stemming from Reddit being down.

All should be well soon enough, but hopefully Reddit will share with everyone exactly what it was that caused the issue in the first place. And though it was short-lived, imgur, the preferred image hosting site for most Redditors, was showcasing similar behavior with slowdowns, images not loading, and error messages.

-Stephen Chapman

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