Google Is Eating Calendar Events For "Less Than 0.125%" Of Its User Base (Updated)

It seems we only mention Google Calendar here on TechCrunch anymore when things inevitably go wrong – which means we get to cover the cloud-based calendaring service quite often, unfortunately.

We’ve been getting a ton of tips from people whose scheduled meetings and whatnot have apparently all been eaten by Google (as has The Next Web, which covered the issue of wiped out user calendars earlier this morning).

I’m not seeing anything off with my own Google Calendar, but the problem appears widespread, judging by the chatter on Twitter and this support forum entry. No surprise: a calendar happens to be primarily used to remember appointments and events so you don’t have to – having all entries deleted from it seems like a surefire way to freak people out.

Google acknowledges the problems on its apps status dashboard, displaying this message:

We’re experiencing an issue affecting less than 0.125% of the Google Calendar user base. The affected users are able to access Google Calendar, but are seeing error messages and/or other unexpected behavior.

We will provide an update by February 23, 2011 12:52:00 PM UTC+1 detailing when we expect to resolve the problem.

Please note that this resolution time is an estimate and may change.

Affected users may be missing entries in their calendars.

I haven’t been able to find out how many users Google Calendar has, but judging by the noise that less than 0.125% of its user base are making, I’m guessing there’s quite a few of them.

Update: the message now reads ‘less than 0.001%’ of the user base.

Update 2: another update to the status message, which now reads:

Google Calendar service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change.

Update 3: the problem should now be fixed (took a while):

The problem with Google Calendar should be resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.

Based on the status message and some responses on the support forum thread, it appears this is merely a visualization issue, which would mean Google hasn’t messed up too bad by effectively losing user data. We’ve contacted Google for more information.

I have to admit, though, the idea of having an empty calendar seems strangely utopian to me.