In the past, emergency outages at Reddit have been caused by an overload of comments. When astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson hit Reddit yesterday with “I am Neil deGrasse Tyson — AMA“, the community responded. During the subsequent slow period on Reddit early this morning, the site went into emergency maintenance mode for over an hour. Coincidence?
On Reddit, the r/IAmA subreddit is designed for people to say who they are or what they do followed by the acronym AMA (ask me anything). It draws a wide range of people from movie stars (Zach Braff, Bruce Campbell) to Jeopardy! champions (Ken Jennings) and often makes for the most informative and engaging comment threads on the website.
When Tyson hit the subreddit and announced it with a Tweet, the flood of questions and answers began.
It is rare to see any Reddit, even an IAmA, get over 10,000 comments. If it was the reason behind the outage, Reddit had better get ready – Tyson recommended that he should do a monthly AMA. If they aren’t ready, we may get to see a monthly screen like this:
Here’s the top question and answer:
What never fails to blow your mind in physics?