Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp reconnecting after nearly six-hour outage

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(Businesshala) – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp were at least partially reconnected to the global internet on Monday afternoon Eastern Time, nearly six hours into an outage that paralyzed the social media platform.

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Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram apps went dark around noon Eastern Time (1600 GMT), which website monitoring group DownDetector said was its biggest failure ever.

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Around 5:45 p.m. ET, some users started getting partial access to the three apps.

The outage was the second blow to the social media giant in as many days after a whistleblower here on Sunday accused the company of prioritizing profits over curbing hate speech and misinformation.

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“To every small and large business, family and person we depend on, I’m sorry,” tweeted Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, adding that “it may take some time to reach 100%.”

Shares of Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion daily active users, fell 4.9% on Monday, their biggest daily drop since last November amid a broad selloff in technology stocks. Shares rose nearly half a percent in after-hours trading after the service resumed.

Security experts said the disruption could be the result of an internal fault, although sabotage by an insider would be theoretically possible.

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“Facebook basically locked your keys in your car,” tweeted Jonathan Zittren, director of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

Soon 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 how many users were affected by the outage.

The error message on Facebook’s webpage suggested an error in the Domain Name System (DNS), which allows Web addresses to lead users to their destination. A similar failure at cloud company Akamai Technologies Inc. led to the closure of several websites in July.

Several Facebook employees, who declined anonymity, said they believed the outage was caused by an internal routing fault in an Internet domain that was complicated by failures of internal communication tools and other resources to function. depended on the same domain.

Facebook, the world’s second largest digital advertising platform, was losing about $545,000 per hour in US ad revenue during the outage, according to estimates by advertising measurement firm Standard Media Index.

On Sunday, Frances Haugen, who served as product manager on Facebook’s civil misinformation team, revealed that she was the whistleblower who provided documents as part of a Wall Street Journal investigation and a Senate hearing on Instagram’s harm to teen girls. .

Haughan was due on Tuesday to urge the US Congress to regulate the company, which he plans to liken to tobacco companies, which for decades have denied that smoking leads to health problems, according to prepared testimony seen by Businesshala. suffers damage.

Reporting by Eva Mathews and Subrata Patnaik in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Tiyashi Dutta, Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru, Joseph Maine in San Francisco and Sheela Dang in Dallas; Editing by Uttaresh.V, Shailesh Kuber, Anil D’Silva and Sonya HepInstall

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