From about 6 p.m. to 7:20 p.m. ET on Tuesday, YouTube was down, and it made everybody freak out. YouTube’s CEO, Susan Wojcicki, apologized for the outage. But she didn’t explain it, according to Business Insider.
“Never seen YouTube down for 30+ minutes like this before,” said Marques Brownlee, a well-known YouTuber.
According to Twitter feedback, the outage was global, according to the Daily Mail.
— 777 (@jimukana) October 17, 2018
Me right now cause Youtube is down and I don’t know what else to do with my life pic.twitter.com/NzrVrkmKrY
— Arielle (@ariellegodinn) October 17, 2018
As you know by now, YouTube is back up and social media is back to normal and all is right with the world. The outage was unusually long, and it was never explained.
Enter the conspiracy theories. The real reason YouTube went down? Because NASA told them to shut down.
Sources on this particular theory are incredibly sketchy, as one might expect. But people are saying that YouTube was shut down because of one particular video. The video showed a man in uniform saying that something was about to hit the moon, and thousands of people were viewing it when the site was mysteriously shut down worldwide.
The person making these claims is a popular YouTube conspiracy theorist who has previously targeted NASA for alleged cover-ups.
“NASA’s usual go-to when something like this happens is to just cut the stream of go offline,” says the YouTuber, Tyler Glockner, according to Female First.
Again, it’s a dubious source and clearly a dubious theory, but it’s more explanation than anything YouTube or parent company Google has managed to offer. When pressed by multiple media outlets to comment on the outage further, Google said they had nothing to add to the tweets that YouTube already released regarding the outage — which contained no explanation whatsoever.
We're back! Thanks for all of your patience. If you continue to experience issues, please let us know. https://t.co/NVU5GP7Sy6
— Team YouTube (@TeamYouTube) October 17, 2018
According to Bustle, the “Error 503” message that many users received while YouTube was down usually indicates an overload problem in the servers.
Often, an Error 503 happens when website traffic overloads a site. Some users also saw an “Error 500” message when trying to use YouTube, which often means internal server issues are causing a problem.
YouTube has had serious outages before. In July, the site was down for about 40 minutes during a World Cup game. In 2008, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority managed to block access to YouTube for about two-thirds of the internet-using population. The Pakistani government was trying to block the site just for Pakistani residents, but an error caused YouTube to become inaccessible for most of the world.
In a few days, YouTube may or may not release more detailed information about Tuesday’s outage, but whatever they say, they definitely won’t say the site was shut down because NASA is trying to hide evidence that some unknown entity has attacked the moon.