Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp at least partially reconnected to the global internet late Monday afternoon, nearly six hours after a service outage that crippled the social media platform.
Facebook, its WhatsApp and Instagram apps went dark around 5pm Irish time, in what website monitoring group Downdetector said was the biggest such failure it had ever seen.
Around 9.45pm Irish time, some Facebook users began regaining partial access to the three apps.
The outage was the social media giant’s second blow in several days after a Whistleblowers on Sunday accused the company of repeatedly prioritizing profit About cracking down on hate speech and misinformation.
“To every small and large business, family, and individual who counts on us, I’m sorry,” tweeted Mike Schrooper, Facebook’s chief technology officer, adding that it “may take a while to get to 100%.”
Shares of Facebook, which has nearly two billion daily active users, fell 4.9 percent on Monday, their biggest daily drop since last November, amid a broader sell-off in technology shares.
Security experts said the disruption could be the result of an internal bug, although sabotage by an insider would theoretically be possible.
“Facebook has basically locked its keys in its car,” tweeted Jonathan Zittrain, director of the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
Shortly after the outage began, Facebook acknowledged that users were having trouble accessing its apps, but did not provide any details about the nature of the problem or say how many users were affected by the outage.
Several Facebook employees, who declined to be named, said they believed the outage was caused by an internal error routing to an Internet domain exacerbated by the failures of internal communication tools and other resources that rely on the same domain to function.
*Sincere* apologies to everyone affected by the outage of Facebook-supported services at the moment. We’re having network issues and teams are working as fast as they can to fix errors and get them back as quickly as possible
– Mike Schreepfer (@schrep)
October 4, 2021
Facebook, the world’s second-largest digital advertising platform, was losing about $545,000 in US ad revenue per hour during the outage, according to estimates from ad measurement firm Standard Media Index.
A Facebook Ireland spokeswoman has confirmed that the company is experiencing a “technical issue” that has caused disruptions to its services – Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. “We are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible,” she said.
Facebook declined to comment on the cause but the issue is not believed to be related to a hack, and is most likely an internal technical bug.
Vodafone internet users have also reported problems accessing services in Ireland.
According to the operator on Twitter, the “global outage across multiple media platforms” affected the performance of the company’s data network.
The operator told users seeking information via Twitter that the company “is currently experiencing a browsing problem due to suspicion [Domain Name System] DNS issue.” According to Vodafone on Twitter, the issue is under investigation.
Unable to reach Facebook because users were not directed to the correct place by the DNS. Facebook controls the relevant settings.
DNS allows web addresses to transport users to their destinations. A similar outage at cloud company Akamai Technologies led to the removal of several websites in July.
Security experts tracking the situation said the outage was most likely caused by a configuration error that left directions to Facebook’s servers unavailable. It could be the result of an internal error, although sabotage by an insider would theoretically be possible.
An external breakout was seen as less likely. On the other hand, a massive denial of service attack that could overwhelm one of the most famous sites in the world, requires either coordination between powerful criminal groups or highly innovative technology.
Facebook acknowledged that users were having trouble accessing its apps, but did not provide any details about the nature of the problem or how many people were affected by the outage.
“We are working to get things back to normal ASAP, and apologize for any inconvenience,” Facebook tweeted about 30 minutes after the first reports of the outage.
Facebook’s response has become more difficult because employees lost access to some of their own tools in the shutdown, the people tracking the matter said.
Meanwhile, the social media giant’s instant messaging platform WhatsApp was also down for more than 35,000 users, while Messenger was down for nearly 9,800 users.
Facebook saw similar widespread outages with its suite of apps this year in March and July.
Many users who use their Facebook credentials to log into third-party apps like Pokemon Go and Match Masters were also experiencing issues.
“If your game isn’t working as usual, please note that there is a problem with the Facebook login servers, and the moment this is fixed, everyone will be back to normal,” Match Masters puzzle game app said on its Twitter account. Additional reporting by Reuters
“Spécialiste de la télévision sans vergogne. Pionnier des zombies inconditionnels. Résolveur de problèmes d’une humilité exaspérante.”