Facebook explains cause of massive seven-hour global outage that hit millions

Facebook has apologised for a widespread social media outage that also affected Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger, leaving millions of users without access

Twitter reacts to Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp outages

Facebook has revealed the cause of a global outage that left millions of its users – and those using Instagram and WhatsApp – without access for seven hours.

The tech giant wrote on its blog: “Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication.

“This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”

The company said it had been “working as hard as we can” to restore access and that the underlying cause had “impacted many of the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations”.

Facebook was down for millions of users for seven hours


SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Despite rumours that the outage may have been related to a cyberattack by hackers, Facebook said: “We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change.

“We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”

The company apologised for the outage and confirmed the platforms were coming back online.

A statement reads: “To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we’re sorry.

“We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now. Thank you for bearing with us.”

The platforms had confirmed on Twitter they were aware of issues and worked to resolve them after thousands of people reported outages shortly before 5pm on Monday.

Data on the web service monitoring platform DownDetector showed almost 50,000 people had reported the outages on Facebook by just after 5pm.

More than 75,000 complaints were received about WhatsApp and more than 30,000 Instagram users also had similar complaints.

Facebook’s share price plummeted 4.9% amid the outage.

Users were able to access Facebook and Instagram from late on Monday evening, while WhatsApp said just after midnight its services were “slowly and carefully” being restored.

At 3.30am, WhatsApp confirmed its services were “back and running at 100%”.

In a statement, Whatsapp said: “We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment.

“We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.”

Instagram released its own statement that said: “Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them. Bear with us, we’re on it.”

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