New York Times Turns to Facebook, Twitter After Website Outage

Todd Spangler

After the New York Times’ website went down Wednesday morning, the newspaper began posting breaking news to its Facebook page and Twitter while attempting to fix the issue.

According to the company’s official Twitter feeds, the outage — affecting both and email — was due to an internal “server isssue,” contrary to an earlier report that a cyberattack was to blame.

The primary site was restored at about 1:45 p.m. Eastern, although the corporate website remained down as of 3:30 p.m. Eastern. The paper told users to follow reporters on Twitter for news updates:

In a notice posted on the website Wednesday afternoon, the newspaper said, “As you may know, our Web site was unavailable for a period of time earlier today. The outage occurred within seconds of a scheduled maintenance update, which we believe was the cause. We are working on fully restoring service and apologize for any inconvenience.”

The website went down shortly before 11:30 a.m. Eastern:

During the outage, the newspaper published several news stories on Facebook in their entirety, including this dispatch on the latest political violence in Egypt.

In January, The New York Times reported that Chinese hackers had “persistently attacked” the newspaper for four months, “infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees.” Other news orgs have been targeted by Chinese hackers, including Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal.

The Times’ outage Tuesday prompted a wave of reaction online, including this wisecrack from The Onion:

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