Twitter hit with DDoS attack, Facebook slow, people forced to talk to those around them

Scattered reports of users being forced to communicate with people in physical proximity such as co-workers, friends and neighbors are coming in as some popular social networking sites are suffering varying degrees of outage.

Mashable is reporting that Twitter’s downtime this morning is due to a DDoS attack of unknown origin. Twitter’s been heavily criticized for its relatively frequent outages, and any Twitter user knows the ubiquitous fail whale, a mascot that appears when there are too many tweets!

Twitter’s off the hook this morning, though, as DDoS attacks can be a real pain in the ass to fight. As we reported this earlier this week, the Gawker Media blog network and former Gawker blog Consumerist suffered intermittent outages for the better part of a day due to a DDoS attack against Consumerist. And what exactly is a DDoS attack? It’s an abbreviation for “distributed denial of service” and occurs when jerks or jerk-offs unknown interrupt the flow of information to and from a website by flooding the target with a huge number of requests. The site can’t separate legitimate requests from the attack hits and essentially goes into a corner, curls up in a ball and cries.

So, users did what anyone would do in the absence of Twitter- they ran to Facebook to cry about it. And the subsequent flow of users to Facebook has in turn slowed that service. Cyber gardens are going unweeded, virtual deer unfed and friends uninformed about your favorite ACTOR/ICE CREAM/HOT KICKS/JONAS BROTHERS SONG/SEX TOY RiGHt NoW!!! as Facebook struggles to accommodate the people who can’t tweet for the time being.

How have you been spending your status update free morning. What are YOU doing right now?