YouTube and YouTube TV suffered a two-hour global outage last night
November 12, 2020
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downdetector graph
Enlarge / Popular “is it me?” site DownDetector displays a massive spike of user reports of YouTube outages. The site itself (and associated apps) remained functional, but videos did not play successfully during the outage.

Jim Salter

Last night between 7:10pm and 9:13pm Eastern Time, YouTube was unavailable to its users. The outage does not appear to have been limited to any particular market or region. YouTube’s team acknowledged the issue within 10 minutes or so of the spike on DownDetector, and YouTubeTV chimed in an hour later to acknowledge that the unexplained issue brought it down as well.

Just over two hours after the initial spike of user reports, Team YouTube assured users that the service was back online, though with no explanation whatsoever about what went wrong or how the problem had been fixed—either on its Twitter accounts or in the support thread it opened to keep users apprised of the outage status. This is an unfortunate contrast to other massive services, which tend to provide fairly detailed explanations in short order during similar outages.

Although YouTube is owned by Google, the service isn’t included in the Google Cloud Dashboard or G Suite Dashboard—both of which report significant technical detail about engineering issues as they occur, and neither of which reported any significant problems last night. When reached for comment, YouTube representatives so far are not providing any further details and simply refer any inquiries to the tweets linked above.

AndroidPolice’s Ryan Hager reports that Google services have also seen major outages in September and March of this year, along with relatively minor outages (affecting Drive and Nest only) in September, April, and March. In his words, “it’s been a rough year for Google’s uptime.”

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