Facebook says sorry for mass outage and reveals why it happened

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  • The outage marked the longest stretch of downtime for Facebook since 2008.
  • Facebook’s VP of Infrastructure Santosh Janardhan said in a blogpost late Monday: “To all the people and businesses around the world that depend on us, we regret the inconvenience caused by today’s outage on our platform. “
  • Facebook shares closed down about 5% on Monday, but were up more than 1% in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

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Facebook has apologized for the massive outage that left billions of users unable to access Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger for several hours.

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“To all the people and businesses around the world that depend on us, we’re sorry for the inconvenience this has caused today,” Facebook’s VP of Infrastructure Santosh Janardhan said. blog post Monday late.

The outage, which prevented users from refreshing their feeds or sending messages, was caused by a “configuration change on the Backbone router,” Janardhan said, without actually specifying what the changes were.

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He said the changes caused “problems,” disrupting the flow of traffic between routers in Facebook’s data centers around the world.

“This disruption in network traffic had a massive impact on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt,” Janardhan said.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp stopped working shortly before noon ET after website and app servers for Facebook’s services were responding with errors.

Just after 7PM ET, about six hours after the platform went offline, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page: “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are now back online.”

He continued: “Sorry for today’s disruption – I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected to the people you care about.”

The outage marked the longest stretch of downtime for Facebook since 2008, when a bug took the site offline for nearly a day, affecting nearly 80 million users. The platform currently has around 3 billion users.

In 2019 too, there was a similar loss for about an hour. Facebook attributed that outage to a server configuration change.

The outage came a day after the whistleblower leaked private internal research to both the Wall Street Journal and Congress, revealing itself ahead of an interview with “60 Minutes.” The documents, reported for the first time in a series of Journal stories, revealed that company executives understood the negative effects of Instagram among younger users and that Facebook’s algorithms enabled the spread of misinformation, among other things.

Facebook shares closed down about 5% on Monday, but were up more than 1% in pre-market trading on Tuesday.

–Additional reporting by Businesshala’s Samantha Subin.

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