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What caused Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram global outage?

Company says no data was compromised

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 5, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago
Posted: Oct 5, 2021 | Last Updated: 3 weeks ago

Photo: AFP

A day after experiencing the ‘worst outage’ since 2019, Facebook has assured that no data was compromised during the service suspension.

Social media users across the globe suffered the disruption of Facebook-owned applications WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger for six hours.

Facebook has issued an apology for the outage. It has blamed configuration changes for the service suspension.

“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,” the company said.

DownDetector – a website that monitors the downtime of all major servers and websites – said that more than 10.6 million people reported the issue when the service halted. The outage was first reported at 8:23pm (Pakistan Standard Time). Users across the globe have been reporting the issues till now.

Twitter trolled Facebook over global outage

In addition to the disruption to people, businesses, and others that rely on the company’s tools, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a financial hit. The halt caused an estimated $6bn at one point as shares prices plummeted.

Reportedly, Facebook employees’ email and work passes were also affected. “Facebook teams were unable to enter buildings to evaluate the extent of outage because their badges weren’t working to access doors,” tech reporter Sheera Frenkel tweeted.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also posted an apology on his account. “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today,” he said.

Service suspension in the past

On March 19, 2021, the Facebook-owned applications were disrupted for an hour. The company didn’t issue any information on the extent of the outage and the reasons behind it.

On July 4, 2019, a similar outage was reported in various parts of the world. The suspension was cited as a “routine maintenance operation” for almost 14 hours.

On March 13, 2019, the 24-hour “worst ever” outage that hit the Facebook services was blamed on a server configuration change.

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