With Such A Big Debate Going On, Would BellSouth Actually Block MySpace?

from the doubt-it dept

There’s been a ton of buzz today saying that BellSouth had somehow started blocking MySpace and YouTube, leading to all sorts of accusations that the telco was already breaking basic network neutrality by stopping the two extremely popular websites. However, there was no clear basis for the accusation, and some thought it was actually MySpace and YouTube who had done something to be blocked by BellSouth — which also doesn’t make much sense. BellSouth has stepped up and claimed they haven’t done anything, and aren’t sure what’s going on. However, what seems likely is that there was some sort of unintentional network problem that caused the issue. There’s almost no chance that BellSouth would actively decide to block two of the most popular sites online just as the big network neutrality debate was heating up. No matter what you think of telco execs, they’re not that stupid. Actively blocking such sites at this particular moment could only lead to shift public opinion further to supporting net neutrality, and no fake telco PR commenters would be able to change that. However, what this hubbub has shown is that should any of the telcos actually get around to putting in place such a draconian block, the public outcry would be swift and fierce. The risk, obviously, is that the telcos wouldn’t block a site completely, but simply degrade performance. Also, for customers who have no other options for service, there wouldn’t be much they could do but complain. Still, this should temper the idea that the telcos would actually try to block specific websites, as they would never get away with it for very long.

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Comments on “With Such A Big Debate Going On, Would BellSouth Actually Block MySpace?”

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Trey (user link) says:

As if Myspace needed any help loading slow.

I’ve been a somewhat avid myspace user for probably 2 years now… mostly just to keep in touch with people. And I have to say in the last 6 months the quality of the sites and the loading time for photos and individual profiles has gone down the tubes.

It’s not unusual for content to error on loading or even not load at all, causing a constant Ctrl + R or just getting disgusted and logging off.

Can you imagine how much worse it would be if Telco’s started degrading how much bandwidth myspace could use… talk about timeout’s from hell.

zachary pond says:

Re: Re: Re: BellSouth

Jeff C, you really should know something about a topic before commenting on it. Traffic engineering is easy for an ISP (that’s what I do for a living) and it has nothing to do with the domain name.

Maybe you missed the hype about ISPs using traffic engineering to degrade Vonage’s service. This is the same thing.

Alex Hagen (profile) says:

Of course

I have always thought the network neutraility debate was kind of a self-correcting problem. If some Telco decided to degrade performance of a certain website, all the victim website would have to do is detect if it the customer is coming in from that domain and put a big banner ad on the top of the page saying “Your ISP is slowing our site down on purpose. Please contact them at 1-800-555-8284 and ask them to stop”.

Problem solved.

Trey (user link) says:

Re: Re:

{“And I have to say in the last 6 months the quality of the sites and the loading time for photos and individual profiles has gone down the tubes. ”

More users + not upgrading hardware to handle more users = poor connection for everyone}

I wasn’t implying it was the ISP’s, if you read the title of the post you’ll notice I was implying it was mySpace’s fault… for exactly the reason you stated. Plus add poor coding techiniques and format to the pot and you get a load of junk.

Alan MadLeese (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:MySpace

Just a note to suggest that folks interested in the fortunes of MySpace might get an insights as to what is going on behind the scenes at MySpace by googling the names of Alan MacLeese and Trent Lapinski. it just could be that the anderson-dewolfe cabin boys and their crew have lost interest in the project and may even be preparing to abandon ship.

Alan MadLeese (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:MySpace

Hallowell here again, I keep on obsessing about the cabin boys running MySpace, in charge of all those antic children, so maybe my concern is excusable. In any case, I felt I had to write again because I just got through reading a great book, “The Google Story,’ and was marveling over the apparemt excellence of the company Google, and then I returned to my labors, which is checking out why the secret ownership of MySpace — sharpsters-hustlers Andrew Alan Wiederhorn and his wife Tiffany of Portland Ore and Clarence (Bud) Coleman and his wife Joan of San Leandro Cal — still hasn’t been revealed by a single arm or leg of the national press or media, whatever. And, in aid of that, I was reading a Forbes magazine interview of cabin lads Chris DeWolfe and Tom Anderson, aka CEO and president of MySpace, and the boys were asked if they could account of the breakneck increase in the number of small rubes in the MySpace tent, and Chris explained he had run bidnesses before, and had an experience crew, and of course it was all about the people on your team, and then Tom, restless as always, bleated:

“In a way, it’s our lack of experience that helps — definitely for me. The thing I like about Chris is that he’s not like all the other people I’ve met in business. He’s able to cut to the chase right away. We don’t waste time on things. We didn’t sit down and write up this big plan and spreadsheets and try to force an imagined plan. We’ve b een quick and nimble on our feet. I was working from common sense. Even though Chris does have that badkground, he’s never been pushing me to that mold, and he doesn’t follow it himself….so we are not doing what everyong else is doing. When we were getting popular, people were saying, “Why aren’t you doing this or that?’ I thought they were ridicullous, and they thought I was ridiculous.”

What in the fuck did he just say? I said to myself — there was no one else around. Well, he said they cut to the chase, don’t waste time, work from common sense and, and ….and Ithought, having read about the sublimity of innovators such as the Brin and Page heroes, and then soaking up the bafflegab of a cabin boy, was indeed a plunge into the ridicullousness of life, but I guess that’s what so great about the Internet. al macleesefrom hallowell, which is nicer than wherever you might be.

I, for one says:

Need to catch the ISPs red handed

Exactly, who is to say the degradation of MySpace performance isn’t entirely on their end? What is needed is evidence for the ordinary person. It’s not easy to know whether your ISP is shaping packets or if the end site is having problems. What if you could know this for sure? What if you prove this in fact in a court of law? A simple application for Windows and MacOS is needed that can use a remote proxy, say in another country, to work in tandem with your own connection and show beyond all doubt that the ISP is acting in prejudice against a companys traffic.

Any good network hacker could knock this up in a few hours. Call it ISPy or something catchy. Have it log the results (anonymous stats) and submit them to a blacklist of badly behaving ISPs.

At the moment the telcos are relying on the ignorance of ordinary users to get away with what they like. Let’s put a stop to that.

Alpharocker (user link) says:

myspace ignites flamewars!!!

I can’t imagine what would make people think Bell South was messing with myspace…

Could it possibly be this message from Tom:

if you’re using Bell South in tennesee, alabama and florida, then you’re probably having trouble accessing your home page. we’ve been calling them and asking them to turn things back on. not sure what the prob is!

In addition to the fact that mySpace is one of the slowest and least functional websites I have ever had the misfortune to use, now they are flaming up teenyboppers everywhere. Maybe this will cause the South to overflow with teenage rioters.

randolei4.78 says:

Ping Testing

I Pinged myspace.com and the ping for 1000 bytes is 60 ms on a 1mbps connection (comcast)

Average google is: 41 ms

If you want to test this go to



type in cmd

Press Enter

type in ping myspace.com -l 1000

(thats PING myspace.com -L 1000)

(you can replace myspace.com with the IP of a server)

to exit type in exit and press enter

you can also ping indefinitely by using “ping myspace.com -t -l 1000

1000 is hte length of the ping which can range from 32 to 66000

Ap says:

Not BS fault

true, Bell South isn’ve very good at the data end of their business but I doubt they’re to blame for this problem. Sounds as if there’s a peering issue. When one ISP is handing the packets to another, probably a backbone provider, and that provider’s router is either overloaded or broken in some way. If you’re having a problem with reaching a specific address, do a tracert (trace route) to it If one hop is extremely long then there’s your likely culprit.

To tracert ..open cmd as someone else described,

type in tracert, space, the name or IP addy of the target and then hit enter.

Red says:

It's so annoying

Im on a 8 megabit connection and myspace usually works fine except for when I try logging in during peak hours. (around 3-5pm Pacific time)

Myspace really needs to upgrade their servers more often, too many users are joining up for their servers to hadle it all =/ (Though they probably aren’t making enough money to do that)

Then again, with all of the people committing Myspacecide, Banning it, and with the downfall of Myspace upon us, I don’t think they will have to upgrade their stuff too much anymore.

Anonymous Coward says:

myspace is really stupid anyway….ive never used myspace nor i ever will…its a waste of time how people would spend most of thier time just to make a webpage “cute” so that u can have more friends….and plus more than half of those 500 people u dont even know and the rest are just plain perrverts.

BigMeanDog says:

Re: Myspace and AC

Anonymous Coward, you are a freaking moronic sub-intelligent bonehead idiot. I wish you’d come to one of my shows so I could stomp your ass in the moshpit. MySpace is a godsend for musicians and oh yeah, your mom told me to tell you to shut the f-up! You never have anything worthwhile to say anyways.

randolei4.78 says:

Ping Testing

The idea was to see if Bellsouth users had slower pings. But anyway, Myspace probably has servers that orignally were awesome but in these past 2-3 years their users have been increasing and servers have been reconfiguring to handle as many users as possible. Another problem miht be a lack of server and network maintenance. Like fragmented op systems and files. ALck of ram modules. virus infections. Ummh too many servers in one room without proper room cooling. Over stacked rack servers. etc.

Oh and overworked itnernet connections

Crazy J says:

Oh yeah... It's Happening.

To start with this typically occurs in emerging or developing markets such as the move to rural communities. I may have actually observed the necessary equipment being dropped in by a certain midwest cable provider.

Several surrounding areas have been impacted as these rural communities have begun receiving degraded performance for streaming content only. When I asked the gents that dropped the HW in what was up, they said this was temporarily necessary. I question the validity of the BellSouth accusations also, but in the end it was certain types of traffic that they took issue with, not merely the site/content providers.

Chad says:

Myspace Suxs

Myspace is the worst peice of software ever created, I don’t use Bell South and I have a direct connection to the backbone of the Internet. The truth is the My Space software is totally buggy and the servers are slow, and they probable can not handle all the new load put on this crap. It is amazing that so many idiots choose this online community, it just proves how stupid can be. Especially with all your stupid posts about telco’s degrading QOS. Get a fucking life, and get off a piece of crap system like MySpace.

myspace-er says:


has anyone else ever noticed scans on there firewall from myspace IPs. i was interested one morning to find my log files suggesting several tcp and udp scans were preformed on my IP throughout the night. having done a little research and a quick whois search i found the originating IP be from myspace. kind of weird….

Roslyn says:


I believe Bellsouth is blocking MySpace. I never receive any MySpace alert emails to my bellsouth account. If I try to have my password emailed to me via my bellsouth account I do not receive the email. If I go and change my profile on MySpace to my generic email address with yahoo I receive their email! Coincidence – I think not!

aggravated with myspace says:

Re: Blockers!

Actually, I was deleted from myspace about a week ago and I tried emailing them twice to find out why… I guess now I know why I didn’t get a response.

I wonder if this bellsouth issue has anything to do with my account being deleted?

I live in Louisiana.

I tried to make a new account and myspace will tell you this is you use bellsouth email:

“We are currently not accepting accounts from Bellsouth email addresses. Please try using a different email address”. Or something like that.

I found this article by googling “myspace and bellsouth” because I’ve been so confused and have not been able to get answers from customer service or “Tom”.

Jess (user link) says:

myspace is slower than ANYTHING

i just started using myspace because all my friends are on it, but sometimes I can’t even log in because its TOO DAMN SLOW! And I have Optimum Online cable which is really fast on all other sites. And there are load errors on 1/6 pages everytime I click. It makes me sick to think their service is this bad and they’re still so popular…

Toonie's Friend (user link) says:

Sabotage of Complaint Sites

What you describe hasn’t happened to me, but I don’t use Bell South. Sometimes my connection just dies on the more complicated myspace pages.

But I woudn’t be surprised to find a company sabatoging a forum that had critical content. When I set up a website that includes information about a local veterinary hospital, (Kindness Animal Hospital in Maryland, and head vet Marc Katz) it started out at the top of google search results and within a few months disappeared entirely. I suspect people with the means to do so can now block sites with content critical of them or their businesses.

If anybody knows how to get around this, please let me know, as I really believe that clients of Kindness ANimal Hospital in Maryland have a right to read this story and make up their own minds about whether or not this is a safe place for their pets. Clearly I don’t think so, but my site doesn’t come up on Google anymore. See http://www.thetooncesproject.com

Phoenix says:

Just Myspace?

This problem began for me with Myspace, then hotmail, and now it’s reached several sites I had used daily without problems. Not sure what’s going on, but I’ve tried every hardware and software solution I can think of. There’s no good reason why some sites will not work and others aren’t having any problems, except that there is something wrong at Bellsouth. Unfortunately for me, my area has very few practical internet options than Bellsouth.

Rick says:

I think bellsouth is doing something....

When I go to myspace the load times of the pages are extremely slow it is like dial-up. Sometimes it gets so slow that I have to just exit out of it because of the frusteration of waiting. Any other site loads fast without lag. When I get on my friend’s cable internet myspace loads really fast so something is up with bellsouth. Their internet also has terrible routing, My ping to a Atlanta server is around 50ms and i’m in northern FL. They need alot of work, they cannot advertise to a gamer and have slow service.

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