YouTube Shutdown: Frustration and Conspiracy


Zachary Farley, Staff Writer

On Tuesday, October 16th, the popular video-sharing website YouTube was inaccessible to users from 6pm to 7:20pm EST. To those unfamiliar with the site, this may not seem to be a very important issue, but to creators and their fans, the eighty minutes felt like an eternity.

This unprecedented shutdown sparked outrage on Twitter, and dozens of articles from a variety of sources were published immediately after initial reports were made. And that’s no surprise; back in August, YouTube was confirmed to be one of the most-visited websites in the world, second only to Google, another site owned by parent company Alphabet Inc.

In response, Twitter users expressed sympathy, outrage, and everything in between.

Pessimistic user @ExcuseeMeYoongi wrote that “…youtube is down, in conclusion, this is the worst day of my life.”, while user @SersonReport expressed his more lighthearted perspective with a reassuring “It will be ok guys and gals #addiction #youtubedown…”

@Vailskibum94 took a more holistic look at the entire situation, posing this question: “Where were you during The Great YouTube Shutdown That Will Be Forgotten By Tomorrow?”

Along with the many rational responses to the shutdown, plenty of internet users developed hypotheses as to why the site was down. Twitter user @compania said that “[YouTube] most likely didn’t want a set of videos to be seen”, hinting at a conspiracy to which many others chose to subscribe. According to the video “REAL REASON For Total Shutdown Of Youtube?” uploaded by user secureteam10, NASA may have demanded a complete shutdown of YouTube after a video claiming that a UFO was on a crash course with the moon was seen by hundreds of thousands of viewers.

Other various theories cropped up as well, with user @vaaaluuurieeee tweeting the following: “Sooooo YouTube supposedly shutdown yesterday cause of a video of a reptilian that was posted”, coupled with an image of a seemingly-photoshopped hybrid human-reptile creature.

Despite the suspicions many may have, it’s likely that YouTube had a server failure, whether due to an excessive amount of people using the site at once, or just a basic malfunction.

When the website returned to complete functionality, Team YouTube issued the following statement on Twitter: “Thanks for your reports about YouTube, YouTube TV, and YouTube Music access issues. We’re working on resolving this and will let you know once fixed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and will keep you updated.”

Regardless of the reason behind the shutdown, one thing is clear; the world has developed a great dependence upon online sources of entertainment and information, and a mere hour or so of inaccessibility may cause all hell to break loose.