Hey everyone. If you want to post links or discuss the Reddit blackout, please localize it to this thread in order to keep things tidy!

  • Scrubbles
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    19510 months ago

    Reddit has been going through some issues for many on Monday, with the outage happening the same day as thousands of subreddits going dark to protest the site’s new API pricing terms.

    According to Reddit, the blackout is responsible for the problems. “A significant number of subreddits shifting to private caused some expected stability issues, and we’ve been working on resolving the anticipated issue,” spokesperson Tim Rathschmidt tells The Verge.

    • femboy_link.mp4
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      25510 months ago

      Too much load? Reddit is down.

      Not enough load? Believe it or not, also down.

              • @[email protected]
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                1710 months ago

                You’d be surprised how much critical infrastructure was implemented through trial and error and has just been left like that for years…

                • sickmatter
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                  1910 months ago

                  Anything less than 99% of infrastructure working that way would be surprising. Everything is held together with scotch tape and scotch whisky.

          • @[email protected]
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            2810 months ago

            I like this idea. I imagine that with the top subs being dark the automated top posts that get scrounged up may be too terrifying for the front page and they hit the panic button while they scramble to curate through the absolute worst filth they’ve ever seen.

        • Grizzzlay
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          6710 months ago

          “It’s merely coincidence. But starting Wednesday, our servers will be more robust and you can browse the site using our official app.” - Spez, while sniffing a decanter of human shit

          • 10EXP
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            1810 months ago

            God we need indefinite blackouts.

        • femboy_link.mp4
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          3610 months ago

          It’s entirely possible that they’ve made some assumptions about what a “normal” level of traffic looks like when writing code for their backend, which has caused some things to break when that has changed.

          Not our fault if their code is shit.

            • femboy_link.mp4
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              1010 months ago

              Honestly, it’s probably not - if I’m actually right this is likely an issue that Reddit’s engineers never predicted would happen so never planned for it. I was being hyperbolic.

            • sickmatter
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              510 months ago

              It’s not reactive. A proper reactive system can handle fluctuations in usage patterns more robustly.

              • @[email protected]
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                110 months ago

                Maybe, but this was a huge increase in usage. Reddit never expected to deal with anywhere near thousands of subs going private simultaneously.

      • @[email protected]
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        2810 months ago

        Want Free API? Straight to down status.

        Want cheaper API? Also straight to down status

        Not enough people on Reddit because of protests? Also straight to down status

      • @[email protected]
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        1310 months ago

        This comment is so good an upvote won’t do justice (without awards, a classic comment such as this now has some merit… it’s a new day boys & girls, a good day)

        • femboy_link.mp4
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          1010 months ago

          If Beehaw offered awards I would actually buy them, at least the money would be going towards keeping the lights on for a project that isn’t actively trying to screw over users for profit.

      • jay
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        310 months ago

        thank you, this comment made my day

    • @[email protected]
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      2610 months ago

      When Reddit forcibly opens everything back up:

      knock knock

      “Who’s there?”

      ”Mods. Hired mods.”

      “Hired mods?”

        • @[email protected]
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          1510 months ago

          If the volunteer mods hold their ground and force Reddit corporate to oust them, Reddit would need to step in to fill the void.

          • AggressivelyPassive
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            810 months ago

            They’ll find some people.

            The reality is, not having (good enough) mods will take a while to really hurt the bottom line. Subs will slowly deteriorate.

            But I’m 100% sure, within a few weeks you can establish a new order of more servile mods.

            • TechyDad
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              910 months ago

              People on Reddit complain about the mods enough as it is. (And I include myself in that. I’ve had some less than stellar mod encounters in the past.) However, if Reddit were to force out existing mods and replace them with mods willing to toe the company line (and possibly ban people for mentioning the blackout, complaining about Reddit, or mentioning alternatives), it would just result in more user dissatisfaction.

              Reddit won’t go out overnight. There are too many people who post there. However, this could turn into a snowball effect. Rebelling mods are replaced by bootlickers. Dissent is crushed in order to make it seem like everything is hunky dory before the IPO. Power users flee to alternatives like Lemmy. Slowly, normal users hear that some of their favorite content is on this new service and sign up. Reddit usage drops little by little until it’s limping around as a shell of its former self.

              • EponymousBosh
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                110 months ago

                Yeah, I think a slow collapse is a more likely scenario. But the main thing is, it’s still an inevitable collapse. The only question is how much blood can Spez et al wring out of this stone in the meantime.

        • @[email protected]
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          1110 months ago

          Reddit has an annual “moderator summit”, a rah! rah! yay for moderators! event for moderators, mostly of large or super large subreddits.

          At last year’s summit, Spez gave his ‘keynote’ talk where among other things he claimed that they were researching ways to pay moderators for their work, by giving them a cut of … something. It was all sort of wonky and nebulous and likely just something he thought of that morning in the shower.

    • @[email protected]
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      2310 months ago

      Whatever causes the website to have trouble, I’m all for it, right now.

      I already wondered if I got lightning-banned for sending too many API requests in a short time, when I used a script to auto-edit all my comments and text-posts.

    • @[email protected]
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      1010 months ago

      Ah, “expected”, such a wonderful word! They expected for their infrastructure to explode, just according to keikaku

    • @[email protected]
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      910 months ago

      A significant number. Fantastic. I’m not sure I believe the stability issues, I’m just a a tin foil hat kind of guy though. I guess it’s possible.

      • @[email protected]
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        110 months ago

        Reddit didn’t design their systems around needing to deal with a huge number of subs going private all at the same time. It’s not surprising that it caused a short outage.

    • @[email protected]
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      10 months ago

      A significant number of subreddits shifting to private caused some expected stability issues, and we’ve been working on resolving the anticipated issue.

      My hypothesis is that it’s probably because so much of Reddit posting is automated by their own bot network now that they DDOS’d themselves trying to auto-post to subs that are suddenly locked. Like they didn’t even bother tracking which subs would be blacking out and like…write exceptions to their post schedule.

  • jboyens
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    12010 months ago

    Seems like all the traffic had to go somewhere…

    Lots of love for the Beehaw and other Lemmy admins this morning. It’s never fun suddenly having to 10x scale. Although it sounds like everybody else on the internet is getting a heavy traffic load today too.

    I think the most fun, unintended consequence is that there were some assumptions baked into the Reddit codebase and the large number of Private subreddits has caused massive disruption and outages for them. While others have speculated it might be a tactic to hamper the affects of the protest, it sure seems real plausible to have not anticipated 6K subreddits going private overnight.

    • @[email protected]
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      5210 months ago

      As an engineer, this sounds most plausible - they had proactive detection and resolution in place against various attacks and system failures, which got triggered due to the massive drop in public subreddits/users/activity, and made everything worse. Honestly, this isn’t a scenario their engineers could have easily predicted…

      • @[email protected]
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        10 months ago

        As a former sysadmin and a [still, for the moment] reddit moderator, my bet is that most of the subreddits that switched to private forgot to (or didn’t know to) go into “new reddit” and switch off the thing that allows people to request being added to the now-private subreddit.

        A HUGE influx of people pounding on the “let me in, add me to the sub” button, which sends modmail, may have overloaded the whole modmail system, which in turn sometimes goes kaflooey for no apparent reason (my theory is: it gets bored).

        • @[email protected]
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          2610 months ago

          I see this as a positive aspect of the protest.

          I am also amused that random people are pounding on the door for access, as if they think approved submitters are having a private tea party inside.

          • @[email protected]
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            1610 months ago

            Clearly you’re not someone who would have to go back and clear out 259238 modmail messages and make sure that none of them are legit “I have a problem” notes.

            None of the subreddits I mod are that huge but just the thought of more than 100 at once makes me wanna cry.

            • @[email protected]
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              910 months ago

              At this point, they should just leave the 259,238 modmail messages for the admins to deal with. Let them sort through all that since this is all their doing.

            • @[email protected]
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              310 months ago

              Oh clearly I’m not. I just don’t understand the thinking of people demanding access. It’s like the kind of person who pounds on the door of a closed restaurant because they can see the employees inside.

              • @[email protected]
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                810 months ago

                Oh man, my partner made a somewhat popular weapon calculator spreadsheet for Elden Ring, and the number of random Google Sheets edit requests they received was… quite a lot. (the instructions were right there for people to make a copy of the sheet to edit themselves! that’s how all of these sheets calculators work!) 🤦

              • @[email protected]
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                510 months ago

                People are selfish. People subconsciously think the rules apply to other people.

                People who demand to come into closed stores and restaurants are not the exception. What’s even crazier is when you turn one away, anyone who has seen the door open even though the person was told no and didn’t get inside suddenly decides that maybe if THEY pound on the door, they’ll magically get access!

          • The Bard in Green
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            10 months ago

            I’ve had some of those. I’ve been responding with a link to Louis Rossman’s video and “Please consider limiting your own reddit use.”

        • @[email protected]
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          1510 months ago

          Ah, but you see they “improved” modmail recently. It would certainly never go “kaflooey” anymore. It now fails all like “kerpow!” instead… much cooler, you see.

          • AggressivelyPassive
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            510 months ago

            Well, of course, that’s just good engineering.

            You see, kerpow!s scale much better than kaflooeys due to cache invalidation problems in the ooey inductors, that’s like first semester knowledge.

        • @[email protected]
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          710 months ago

          I’m just speculating of course, too, but could be some kind of sharding e.g. in the DB level. I can imagine the little subreddits draw little traffic hence fewer shards are allocated to them (like how S3 works).

      • Neotecha (She/her)
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        710 months ago

        This makes a lot of sense to me (as an Operations Engineer).

        I could imagine the architecture team has low watermark triggers to rescale the architecture, kill and restore hosts, or other changes based on expected user load. When that load just… isn’t there, the automated tooling just loops the same actions causing site instability.

        I’ve had similar issues before, so it seems like a feasible explanation

      • @[email protected]
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        610 months ago

        I’m not sure if it’s just a load balancing issue. if all of Reddit can only access specific subs, maybe they split their servers that way

        but I’m just guessing, because it doesn’t make much sense to go down, when there is less data to process…

        • @[email protected]
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          710 months ago

          in a way it does, when you’re building massive scale systems. Say you are the mitigation team and want to protect yourself against a malicious hacker/employee that starts shutting down web servers or removes posting permissions from the DB for everyone. You’re going to monitor the frequency of posts and if it drop too fast, you know something’s bad happening. You’re going to take automated measures against it - maybe freeze access to the DB completely, maybe switch to a (much less tested) backup region/system, etc… so you can see how things can snowball from there to strange scenarios…

          • @[email protected]
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            310 months ago

            yeah, well, maybe…

            usually unexpected situations have unexpected errors. so yeah, you could be right

    • Ghostalmedia
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      410 months ago

      I’m having flashback to the early Reddit and Twitter days. Those platforms would get a ton of press os buzz on a random day, then they would explode.

      The fail whale was iconic back in the day.