Yahoo email outage makes ‘blood boil’ in Mideast

The outage started late Monday or early Tuesday, infuriating many users around the world

Hind Mustafa - Al Arabiya
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Internet users in the Middle East have hit out at U.S. internet giant Yahoo after a two-day outage in its email service.

Many Yahoo email users were unable to access their accounts due to a hardware failure, prompting some users in the Arab world to vent their anger over social media.

The outage started late Monday or early Tuesday, and infuriated many users including popular figures in the Middle East.

“I don’t recall the last time anything made my blood boil #Yahoomail. When u r messing with our emails, u r messing w/ our work productivity,” tweeted Muna Abu Sulayman, a popular Saudi media personality and host of MBC’s Kalam Nawaem talk show. Al Arabiya News is part of MBC Group.

Abu Sulayman was one of many Yahoo mail users who have not been able to access the service. The company did not provide a specific number of the users who were hit by the international outage.

Users initially received a message saying the service was temporarily down due to “scheduled maintenance.”

Dubai-based Amit Arora tweeted: “@YahooCare unable to open my #yahoomail receiving attached message scheduled system maintenance since 2 days.” He added a snapshot of Yahoo’s statement.

As the outage continued on for a second day, the company released a statement apologizing to its users.

“We are very sorry for recent difficulties with Yahoo Mail,” Jeffrey Bonforte, the company’s senior vice president of communication products said in a short message posted at Tumblr.

The statement disclosed that the problem arose due to “a hardware problem” at one of Yahoo’s data centers.

According to Bonforte, “the issue has been harder to fix than we originally expected [but] we have dozens of people working around the clock to bring it to a resolution.”

When contacted by Al Arabiya News, Yahoo Maktoob Middle East declined to specify how many users in the Middle East had been hit by the service outage.

Yahoo released an update saying “the affected servers have been up and running for over six hours and we’ve already delivered over 30 percent of messages sent during the outage.

“Some users may still have trouble accessing their accounts but we are working through the night on this and will post again in the morning Pacific Time with the latest updates,” said a statement issued on Dec. 11 at 11:15 PST.

Some users tweeted that Yahoo had lost them to competitor Gmail after the outage. But despite uproar over social media, the issue should not harmfully hit Yahoo, said one digital media expert.

“I don’t think there will be a notable withdrawal or migration from Yahoo’s mail service among users,” said Haitham Massoud, founder of the Arabic Digital Content Forum.

Commenting about the topic, Massoud explained that some users “may lose some trust” in Yahoo. But he added that Yahoo’s “developed and unique services” should protect it from a greater fallout from the outage.

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