Google Disruptions Affect Gmail, YouTube and Other Sites

Google said on Sunday that “high levels of network congestion” were impairing many sites, such as Gmail, YouTube and others that rely in part on its technology.

It wasn’t clear what specifically was behind the problems.

They appeared to affect more than a dozen Google services, including its cloud computing technology, which is used by many companies to power their own services and apps.

Asked whether the problems were the result of some sort of cyberattack, Google said that was not the case.

In a statement Sunday evening, Google indicated that the problems stemmed from network issues, that the company had figured out the “root cause” and that it expected to return to normal service shortly.

A Google spokesman could not immediately provide more specifics and said the company was still investigating.

Users reported problems with Snapchat and Discord, a voice and text chat app for gamers. Shopify, which is an e-commerce platform that powers thousands of stores, reported being affected.

“Users may see slow performance or intermittent errors,” Google said in an update on the errors Sunday evening. “Our engineering teams have completed the first phase of their mitigation work and are currently implementing the second phase, after which we expect to return to normal service.”

The worst of the problems lingered for about three hours, and by Sunday evening Google said the issue was “resolved for the vast majority of users.” It expected a “full resolution in the near future,” it said.

The disruptions first surfaced late in the afternoon and seemed to be clustered in the Eastern United States. They did not affect services worldwide.

But for many, the weekend disruption underscored just how ubiquitous Google’s services are today, and how the impact of even minor or temporary errors can cascade across the internet.

In 2017, an Amazon employee entered an incorrect set of commands on a computer and knocked out a set of servers in an Amazon data center. Many were affected by that hiccup, including Slack, Quora and the technology news site The Verge.

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