Google, and YouTube themselves, remain tight-lipped, but Internet theorists have some suggestions.
First, the humorous, that a Google technician meant to shut down Google Plus but mis-clicked. Try it and click 'Shutdown YouTube' yourself!
However, a previous YouTube outage might give clues. This isn’t the first time YouTube has gone down, though given the past incident was in 2008 many might not recall it.
Even so, two-thirds of the world lost YouTube access due to a misconfigured censorship option by the Pakistan Government.
This restriction was supposed to only cover Pakistan. But Pakistan Telecom implemented the block by redirecting traffic to YouTube’s IP addresses to itself. The network’s upstream network provider in Hong Kong, PCCW, then erroneously advertised the Pakistan route as the fastest connection to YouTube, via Internet routing protocols.
As such, much of the worldwide traffic, especially within Asia, found all attempts to reach YouTube ending at a blocked network.
PCCW is among the 20 largest data carriers and its routing table was passed to other carriers without verification.
Routing misconfigurations occur routinely, albeit without so much of a global impact.
Could this be the problem the world experienced yesterday?