Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Australia’s first online census appears to have crashed as millions of households attempt to log in on Tuesday night.

Social media is awash with complaints from people who cannot access the site, or attempting to submit their form has failed, but the ABS kept responding that everything was fine.

Business Insider attempted to access the ABS site at around 8pm and received an error message.

By 8.38pm, they acknowledged there was a problem:

The ABS told people who had error messages earlier in the evening to wait 20 minutes and Census spokesman told Fairfax media that the site was operating “as expected” with “more than 1.3 million successful online submissions”.

That figure is around 10% on the expected total. Census officials previously said the site had the capacity to handle one million submissions an hour, which was “twice the capacity we expect to need”.

More than 90 minutes after admitting there was a problem, the ABS website looked like this:


At 11pm, they gave up and admitted defeat on census night:

The Census call centre has also been overloaded and people are being told to call back tomorrow when they’ll hopefully be less busy.

Australians have until September 23 to complete the census.

People reported a range of error messages:

Others are sanguine about the situation:

Others, less so:

And of course the comedy memes are starting to emerge:

Along with the sarcasm:

Back in 2012, Click Frenzy gained instant notoriety when its website crashed minutes after launching:

Scientist Darren Saunders summed up the tragedy of an organisation that’s been facing growing reputational damage over recent weeks:

And it got noticed globally on Twitter:

But it seemed to be working just fine earlier in the evening when the small business minister, Michael McCormack, who’s responsible for the Census, jumped online:

Meanwhile, despite five years of planning the ABS has also been telling people that the letters for Census night are still being delivered:

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