Broken Internet no worry to web engineers

Illustration by Ed Appleby
Illustration by Ed Appleby

All precautions were in place during the Oscars

By Chandler Walter, Humour Editor

The Internet is a delicate thing, and many users seem to take it for granted. They take it as a given that each and every day it will be there for them, even in the darkest of times. This is due to the hard work and determination of unknown engineers, working in the shadows to keep the wheels of web browsing in motion. Pete Lansing is one of those engineers. This is his story:

It all came to a head with The Great Breaking of 2014. When Kim Kardashian exposed her bare buttocks to the world, the Internet trembled and ripped apart, and we were there to pick up the pieces. It takes a certain amount of code to keep the Internet together as it is today, and even more to fix it.

We worked tirelessly for what seemed like weeks. It was a mess. While most people forgot about The Breaking by the next day, and went on watching their YouTube videos and reading their Tweets, unbeknownst to them the Internet was in flames. A hole was torn between Vanity Fair and Reddit the size that wasn’t ever believed to be possible. My dear friend Paul, another Web engineer, was sucked through that hole, never to be seen again.

Brazzers users were being rerouted into Club Penguin, Nexopia saw an unprecedented surge in visitors, and black holes of confused data were sprouting up faster than we could block them.

There have been a few rough days since then. The Ice Bucket Challenge flooded our interface, and it took days to cleanse Facebook of all of Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked nudes. But the real challenge that we saw coming was the Oscars of 2016.

For years—hell, decades—an Oscarless Leo has been gaining strength in the corner of the Internet. We have always kept him at bay, limiting him to prowling the meme pages, and occasionally a visit to Reddit, but we were worried that if this was not his year, he would gain power enough to not only break, but destroy the Internet.

We took every precaution necessary. We doubled up on Ad blocker, and tried to expand is grounds during the lead up. But the GIFs were too many, and we, too few. By the time Leo walked up onto that stage, his Internet persona had grown in likes and favorites and retweets to a size that we could not have contained even with all the tools at our disposal. To this day I thank the browser above that he won, or we would have been plunged into a Breaking so absolute that the Internet itself would be reduced to a Leonardo DiCaprio meme.

We have learned from our mistakes, and from the sheer enormity of pop culture.

The next time the Internet may break, we will be ready.