Stephen Fry: “I Can Take Down An Entire Site With A Single Tweet”

British comedian and author Stephen Fry revealed in an interview with .net magazine how he frequently takes down sites with around 3,000 requests per second as a result of him tweeting a link to his massive 1.3 million followers.

“When I tweet a link it usually gets around two or three thousand requests a second. Especially if I word it in a way where I really want people to go to a site,” he said in the interview.

In an effort to prevent websites from crashing due to the sheer volume of traffic generated by his large number of followers, he first try to warn site owners to get prepared for the worst by purchasing extra bandwidth to withstand the sudden spike in traffic. “I just have to be very specific, and say: ‘Please go to your web guys and your host and tell them this is the kind of traffic you could get,” Fry explains.

“Fifty per cent of the time the site is down in seconds – even when we’ve contacted site owners and they’ve told us everything will be fine. It’s often an unprecedented amount of traffic, and they don’t have the required capacity.”

Fry wields a considerable amount of influence through his use of the social networking site Twitter, and he is frequently asked to promote various charities and causes.

“Twitter’s astonishingly new still, and its power is only just beginning to be discovered,” he enthuses. “Not just power to advertise, but power to campaign, power to – perhaps – change politics: not necessarily in a good way, not necessarily in a bad way. But it’s power nevertheless.

“Wherever a lot of people are assembled, and are exchanging ideas quickly, there is always power. And people are only just beginning to learn how to use the API to its fullest potential.”

Via TechRadar