The Verge reports on internet outage on Google Doc but forgot to make it private

As technology news website the Verge was hit by a mass internet outage this morning, it tried getting around the problem by using Google Docs.

The service was still accessible amid the mass disruption, so staff shared a link to the document on Twitter and told readers to stay tuned for updates.

It seemed like a good idea in such an unexpected and debilitating situation, but there was one small problem.

Staff forgot to restrict the ability to edit the doccument, meaning pretty much anyone could have had a very brief stint of writing for the Verge.

The document has since been restricted, but not before people left their mark on it.

One message read: ‘Hello i am verge writer bye. I love this we’re all besties hola! Well this is fun isn’t it.

‘Who is the silly sausage that enabled edits. The internet was a mistake. Excited to announce my new job as editor at the Verge.’


Another entry said: ‘Not them forgetting to turn editing off lmao owo. So everyone can write for Verge now.

‘Hi lol. So this is what the world. Hello I am a verge writer bye. Love this we’re all besties.’

It is thought the outage was triggered due to issues faced by data centre provider Fastly.

It said many websites linked to the content delivery network (CDN) showing an ‘error 503’ message.

Among a long list of affected websites are the Guardian, Spotify, the UK Government website and Deliveroo.

By 11.44am, Fastly said: ‘The issue has been identified and a fix is being implemented.’

The company offers services such as speeding up loading times for websites, protecting them from denial-of-service cyberattacks and helping them deal with bursts of traffic in order to stay online and stable.

The NHS website was still working, with over 25s now eligible to book coronavirus vaccines.

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