Every time a router sees IP packets containing words like #swag or #yolo it cries out in pain. And Tim Berners-Lee sheds a tear!
Network equipment vendors confirmed that something is brewing. “We don’t know the full extent of the problem yet; It started with increased but sporadic software related failure. Our engineers have however managed to trace the roots of the issue back to when people started overusing #hashtags so there may be a relation.” – spokesperson from both Juniper and CISCO said. “The problem manifests itself by devices never reaching a ready-state but instead going into a continuous reboot cycle-loop. Also the question isn’t if but when this ‘silicon suicide’ will happen. It could be triggered any time depending on how many buzzwords or hashtags the device handled recently and how severe and damaging they were!”
Harmless in itself, the hashtag could be a likely candidate and root cause. It massively amplifies (otherwise harmless) occasional and isolated occurrences of words like #belieber, #yolo or #swag. Twitter, Google+ and Facebook have meanwhile switched off their hashtag feature to at least maintain operation without further disruption.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has also called for the assembly of an emergency work-group to study the phenomenon.