Brentwood, CA — Several major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) announced they were limiting traffic to Gwyneth Paltrow’s online Gynecology MasterClass as it appears to have caused “undue stress on the networks.” Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T all said that they were throttling, or slowing down, access to the Masterclass servers to prevent Ms. Paltrow’s insanely popular class from “breaking the Internet.”
“We were already at 80% capacity during peak times due to the coronavirus stay-at-home orders,” said Comcast spokesperson Bethany Millbright. “And although the public might think we still have 20% left, that’s not the case with overhead and buffers. So when Ms. Paltrow’s online class came out last week, many of our edge routers simply crashed under a tremendous load.”
According to Yanka Industries, the parent company of the franchise, the last high demand course was Chef Gordon Ramsay’s “How to Insult” Masterclass in 2018, which was a follow-up to his popular knife skills videos.
MasterClass was formed in 2015 using “renowned personalities in their respective fields,” according to its website. Each class has video lessons, exercises, workbooks, and interview sessions with the instructor. A typical class has about 10–25 video lessons that are two to five hours in total. Critics of the enterprise claim that the courses do not teach actual skills to improve proficiency, but merely are motivational videos which explore the drive and obsessive-compulsiveness of the personalities.
It’s unclear why Ms. Paltrow’s Gynecology MasterClass broke all online learning attendance in its first few days, as the company does not share its data with the public. However, some industry experts have theorized that her past, high-profile shenanigans like Vaginal Steaming and, more recently, something called “Kombucha Douching” might be driving traffic.
“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for Paltrow’s services, especially in times like these,” said Professor James Badwater of the University of Chicago’s Badwater Institute For the Betterment of Culture and Charcuterie. “Everyone is cooped-up in their homes, just itching to do something. For many, it’s do-it-yourself home gynecology.”
According to Ms. Millbright, speaking for Comcast and saying other ISPs are following their lead, people will still be able to attend Gwyneth Paltrow’s Gynecology MasterClass, however much of the content will be blurred to increase network capacity. And according to Millbright, that’s probably a good thing anyway.