On Monday, Facebook’s 3.5 billion users were unable to access the company’s social media and messaging services, including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, due to a “faulty configuration update.”
In a late Monday blog post, the business did not say who made the configuration modification or whether it was planned.
Earlier this week, some Facebook workers who did not want to be identified told Reuters that they suspected the downtime was caused by an internal error in how Internet traffic is routed to the company’s computers.
Employees said that failures of internal communication tools and other resources that rely on the same network to function aggravated the mistake. According to security experts, an unintentional error or insider sabotage are both possibilities.
In a blog post, Facebook stated, “At this point, we think the underlying cause of this outage was an incorrect configuration update.”
Downdetector, a web monitoring company, claims that the Facebook outage is the biggest it has ever seen.
The outage was the firm’s second setback in as many days, following a whistleblower’s accusation on Sunday that the corporation has consistently prioritized profit before cracking down on hate speech and disinformation.
As users rushed to competitor applications like Twitter and TikTok, Facebook’s stock dropped 4.9 percent on Monday, its largest daily decline since November, amid a larger selloff in technology companies. Following the restoration of service, shares climbed nearly half a percent in after-hours trading.
“I’m sorry to every little and large business, family, and individual that relies on us,” Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer tweeted, adding that “it may take some time to get back to 100%.”
Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, tweeted, “Facebook effectively locked its keys in its car.”
On Monday, Twitter reported higher-than-normal use, which caused some difficulties in reading postings and direct messages.
Netflix tweeted a meme from its new blockbuster program Suid Game headlined “When Instagram & Facebook are down,” which depicted a figure named “Twitter” holding up a character labeled “everyone” on the edge of falling in one of the day’s most popular tweets.
After the service replied that “many of individuals searched today ‘how to run google advertising for customers,'” one user wisecracked in a Facebook group for ad purchasers.
According to estimates from ad measurement firm Standard Media Index, Facebook, which is the world’s second-largest seller of online advertising behind Google, was losing around $545,000 (about Rs. 4 crores) in US advertisement income each hour during the outage.
However, downtime at Internet firms in the past has had minimal long-term impact on revenue growth.
Facebook’s services went offline around noon Eastern time, including consumer apps like Instagram, workplace solutions it sells to companies, and internal programs (9:30pm IST). Around 5:45 p.m. ET, access began to be restored (3:15am IST).
Soon after the outage began, Facebook confirmed that users were experiencing difficulties accessing its applications, but provided no further details regarding the nature of the issue or the number of people affected.
The error notice on Facebook’s website revealed a problem with the Domain Name System (DNS), which directs users to their destinations using Web addresses. In July, a similar failure at cloud services provider Akamai Technologies brought down numerous websites.
Frances Haugen, a product manager on Facebook’s civic misinformation team, disclosed on Sunday that she was the whistleblower who gave evidence supporting a recent Wall Street Journal article and a US Senate hearing on Instagram’s harm to young females last week.
According to prepared testimony reviewed by Reuters, Haugen was scheduled to testify before the same Senate panel on Tuesday, urging the firm to be regulated, comparing it to cigarette companies that rejected for decades that smoking was harmful to one’s health.