Reddit Outage: Site Experienced Widespread Technical Problems for About an Hour

Todd Spangler
·2 min read

UPDATED: Reddit, the popular internet discussion site, encountered broad technical issues Tuesday, as thousands of users worldwide reported problems accessing pages for about an hour.

Problem reports for Reddit began to spike just before 2 p.m. ET, according to uptime-tracking service DownDetector.com. More than 40,000 users in the U.S. alone had submitted error reports to DownDetector. Users in other countries, including Canada, the U.K., Australia, Germany, Sweden and Japan, also were reporting technical problems. By 3 p.m. ET, user problem reports had mostly subsided.

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Earlier, error messages on reddit.com told visitors, “Sorry, we couldn’t load posts for this page.” The site’s search function was not working, either. While some users saw blank pages, others saw slow load times.

According to a message posted to its status page at 1:56 p.m. ET, Reddit said the site had “elevated error rates” and that “We are currently investigating this issue.” About 45 minutes later, the Reddit status page said, “The issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented.” A Reddit spokesperson confirmed the site was “dealing with a disruption” and said the most up-to-date info was being shared on the status page, which at 3:34 p.m. ET posted that the problem was resolved.

According to the company, the site had more than 52 million daily active users in the fourth quarter of 2020.

Earlier this year, Reddit landed $250 million in new growth funding, giving the company an estimated $6 billion valuation. Reddit says it plans to double headcount in 2021, expanding from about 700 to 1,400 employees. The privately held company hasn’t disclosed finances but says ad revenue in Q4 rose 90% year-over-year.

Reddit was founded in 2005 and acquired by Condé Nast in 2006. In 2011, Condé Nast spun out the site; Advance Publications, parent of Condé Nast, retains a minority stake in Reddit. The company is eyeing an IPO after hiring its first-ever CFO, Drew Vollero, who shepherded Snap’s initial public offering in 2017.

Like other social platforms, Reddit has struggled in dealing with harassment and hate speech over the years. In June 2020, the company officially banned hate speech and disabled about 2,000 subreddits, including r/The_Donald, a pro-Donald Trump forum notorious for racist, misogynistic, anti-Islam and anti-Semitic posts. And this January, after the attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob, Reddit banned the r/donaldtrump subreddit after “repeated” violations of the site’s policy against inciting violence.

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