People were consumed with nerd-rage when they couldn’t fill out their census forms

People were consumed with nerd-rage when they couldn’t fill out their census forms

A few years ago, Stephen Harper considered the mandatory long-form census to be so politically toxic that he killed it altogether, to the dismay of statisticians across the country. Now, Harper is (mostly) gone, the mandatory census is back, and people are pissed—pissed!—that Statistics Canada’s crappy website briefly prevented them from filling it out last night.

It seems as though Statistics Canada sent out a large number of census mailers all at once, each containing instructions for accessing an online survey form, hosted on the StatCan website. Yesterday, when the mailers started showing up at people’s homes, many of the recipients tried, simultaneously, to access the website. StatCan says the deluge of traffic (which the federal government’s IT people should probably have anticipated and prepared for) knocked the site offline for a few hours yesterday evening. Curiously, the site’s error message said it was undergoing “scheduled maintenance,” which appears not to have been the truth.

It’s possible that some census-hating Canadians took grim satisfaction in the government snafu. On Twitter, though, where users love nothing better than typing their personal information into boxes on websites, the reaction was pure nerd-rage. Here are 15 people who just couldn’t wait to fill out a mandatory government form:

This morning, after census-crazed Canadians had spent a sleepless night worrying, StatCan tweeted the all-clear:

https://twitter.com/StatCan_eng/status/727485336658567168