Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were offline for users overnight across the globe after a massive outage but the social media giant says it’s fixed the problem and services have been restored.
It’s been reported the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, personally lost approximately USD $ 5.9 billion (AUD $8 billion) as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered these global outages. The social media giant’s stock plummeted 4.9%, adding to a drop of about 15% since mid-September, according to Forbes.
Reuters could not immediately confirm the issue affecting the services but the error message on the webpage of Facebook Inc suggested a problem with Domain Name System (DNS). DNS allows web addresses to take users to their destinations.
A similar outage at cloud company Akamai Technologies Inc. took down multiple websites in July. Facebook’s internal systems used by employees also went down, the Associated Press reported.
Regarding the internal failures, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, tweeted that it feels like a “snow day”.
Security experts tracking the situation said the outage could have been triggered by a configuration error, which could be the result of an internal mistake although sabotage by an insider would be theoretically possible. An outside hack was viewed as less likely.
This morning Facebook posted this comment as an apology to the huge number of people affected by the outage:
“To everyone who was affected by the outages on our platforms today: we’re sorry. We know billions of people and businesses around the world depend on our products and services to stay connected. We appreciate your patience as we come back online.” – A Facebook spokesperson
The outage happened just as Facebook was defending accusations
The outage happened just as Facebook’s Antigone Davis was live on CNBC defending the company over a whistleblower’s accusations and its handling of research data suggesting Instagram could be harmful to teens – and then the entire network of services suddenly went offline.
The outage took six hours to resolve. This is the worst outage for Facebook since a 2019 incident took its site offline for more than 24 hours.
On Twitter, Facebook communications executive Andy Stone says, “We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologise for any inconvenience.”
Mike Schroepfer, who will step down from his post as CTO next year, tweeted: “We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible.”
Inside Facebook, the outage has broken nearly all of the internal systems employees use to communicate and work. Facebook engineers were sent to the company’s U.S. data centres and after some time, they were able to fix the problem.