Due to a catastrophic outage, social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, went down for users worldwide for over five hours on Monday. This incident started at 16:44 BST (11:44 ET), with almost 80K reports for WhatsApp and over 50K for Facebook.
Facebook, Instagram, & WhatsApp went down for users worldwide for over five hours in a catastrophic outage.
But thankfully, from around 10:30 p.m. UK time, some users reported that they were back online and able to access the four platforms. The precise cause of the outage is yet to be disclosed by Facebook, but experts have claimed it must have been due to a server update gone wrong.
DownDetector reported that the issues started at 16:44 BST with 80K reports for WhatsApp and over 50k for Facebook.
One expert reportedly claimed the problem might have been caused by an internal error made by staff, which effectively erased the site from the internet. The update to the servers had appeared to have paralyzed Facebook’s internal systems, which left the team unable to communicate with each other, and keycards at the company California HQ were also reported to allegedly stopped working.
The exact cause of the outage is unknown, but an internal error might have caused the problem.
A staff member accidentally deleted large code sections (pictured), which keeps the website online.
Staff was reported to have rushed to data centers to reset parts of the system manually. An insider who took to Reddit on the subject matter admitted that the firm’s response was hampered by the lack of technicians working in the centers due to the coronavirus pandemic. Facebook said it has been working to restore access to its services in a statement following the platform’s restoration.
A Facebook employee said on Reddit that high numbers of staff working remotely made the problem worse.
The company added it’s “happy to report they are coming back online now” and apologized as well as thanked its users for bearing with them. The Chief Technology Officer of Web Security Firm, CloudFare – John Graham Cunningham, stated that Facebook made a series of updates to its border gateway protocol (BGP) which caused it to disappear from the internet.
NetBlocks had tweeted: ‘Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram are experiencing outages in multiple countries.’
The BGP permits the exchange of routing information on the internet and takes people to the websites they want to access. Similarly, Dane Knecht, the Senior Vice President of the company, had earlier said that Facebook Border Gateway Protocol routes had been withdrawn from the internet during the catastrophic outage.
The company has since tweeted to apologize about the global outage of its services.
They added that they were ‘happy to report’ that they were coming back online.
According to NetBlocks, who tracks internet outages and their impact, the outage cost the global economy $160m and even sent the Facebook share price down by more than 5% – this means that the firm’s founder Mark Zuckerberg lost around $7billion of his fortune in a matter of hours. Before this, there have been many social media outages, with Instagram going down for 16hours just last month and all Facebook platforms going offline in June.
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg saw his wealth plummet by $7billion due to the outage.
This comes after a former employee whistleblower Frances Haugen went public with how the company puts profits above morals. Haugen provided The Wall Street Journal with internal documents that exposed the company’s awareness of harms caused by its products and decision. She went live on CBS ’60 Minutes program on Sunday and was scheduled to testify before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.
This comes after former employee whistleblower Frances Haugen went public with how the company puts profits above morals.
Haugen filed complaints with Federal Law Enforcement, alleging Facebook’s research shows how it magnifies hate and misinformation, leading to increased polarization. It equally showed that the company was aware that Instagram could harm teenage girls’ mental health. The journal’s stories named ‘The Facebook Files’ painted a picture of a company focused on growth and its interest over the public good.
On Tuesday, Haugen appeared in a scheduled testimony in front of Congress.
Nonetheless, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey appeared to make light of Facebook’s plight. In response to a tweet that showed how the facebook.com domain is for sale due to the outage, Jack jokingly wrote: “How Much?” The incident undeniably drew people to Twitter as users shared memes, including one of Homer Simpson jumping from his house to Moe’s bar with the Twitter logo over the door. Even google joined in on the action, saying: “Everyone going to google to check if Instagram is down.”
Internet users have launched memes hinged on the subject matter, and taking the lead is Jack Dorsey, Twitter Founder.