Tumblr Outage Underscores The Unaccepted Instability of Social Networks

Posted on December 6, 2010


We read our favorite blogs. We communicate and share information with others. We get news in real time. Then, suddenly it goes dark. Major issues occur within database clusters causing servers to go down. Servers remain down for more than 15 hours. We go to one of our favorite social media websites and are assured it will be back up shortly. More hours pass. We have no news, no human interaction. We feel lost. A social networking site going down is not theoretical.

For those who use and rely on Tumblr, unplanned downtime has become an unfortunate reality. One of the fastest growing micro blog and sharing social networking sites has been down for more than 15 hours and still counting. Among the comments being tweeted:

What’s the point of having internet access if Tumblr is down? 😦

I am having withdrawal panic attacks from tumblr being down.

@tumblr is still down. I’m seriously in a bad mood. I’m addicted. I can’t help it.

Just when I want to do a tumblr blog post, the site is down.

Although it appears Tumblr is being called out, in the past we have experienced downtime on Facebook and Twitter (i.e. the failed whale). Social networks must be sustainable if we are to rely on them as sources of information and ways to be in touch with one another. We remember the excuse used in school,

My dog ate the paper I wrote.

In today’s world, an excuse with a similar lameness would be expressing to a boss, customer, or friend,

Sorry but my social network has been down all day and night.


Posted in: social media