BBC News, BBC iPlayer, and a host of other BBC websites were down for around an hour on Saturday afternoon, with visitors greeted by a 500 error message.
It is currently unclear what has caused the issues, but BBC News said that its website had been suffering “technical difficulties” since around 13:00 GMT.
Apologies, as we are experiencing technical problems on the BBC News website. We are working hard to resolve the issues.
— BBC News (UK) (@BBCNews) March 14, 2015
The websites came online again at around 14:15.
According to the error message, the problem may have been because the BBC websites are experiencing abnormal traffic or that the service or servers it is on are not currently available.
According to Wikipedia, servers give a 500 internal error message when:
“A generic error message, given when an unexpected condition was encountered and no more specific message is suitable.”
Various explanations have been proposed for the downtime, including a cyber-attack, a spike in traffic surrounding the possible resignation of Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, or the build up to the England vs Scotland rugby match, but in all likelihood the error was the result of a technical misconfiguration.