Facebook down - live updates: Company explains outage as WhatsApp, Instagram and other apps come back online

·32-min read
Facebook down - live updates: Company explains outage as WhatsApp, Instagram and other apps come back online

WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook are now back online after being down for more than six hours in a major outage.

The three apps – which are all owned by Facebook, and run on shared infrastructure – stopped working shortly before 5pm UK time on Monday.

Other related products, such as Facebook Messenger and Workplace, also stopped working.

Facebook has now explained in a detailed blog post what caused the outage - and why it took so long to fix.

It comes as former Facebook product manager and data scientist Frances Haugen testifies before a Senate subcommittee about the company’s research into Instagram’s effect on the mental health of young users.

In June and April this year, the social media giant’s platforms unexpectedly went down due to a “network configuration issue”.

Read our live coverage of the outage below

Read More

Why did Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp go down?

‘We are digitally addicted’: Big tech expert advises how we should view Facebook’s mass outage

Facebook stock nosedive costs Zuckberg $6bn as whistleblower interview and service outage rattle investors

Key points

Telegram’s use goes up

08:52 , Adam Smith

Messaging app Telegram says it added 70m new users during the six-hour outage of Facebook and WhatsApp.

Telegram founder and chief executive Pavel Durov announced the massive boost in what he called a “record increase in user registration and activity”.

Read the full story here:

70m people signed up for Telegram app during Facebook’s outage, founder says

Facebook explains outage - and why it took so long to fix

08:04 , Adam Withnall

Facebook has now given its most detailed explanation yet of what caused Monday’s major outage, and why it took so long to get the company’s essential systems back online.

Read the full story here:

Single wrong command took down Facebook’s ‘backbone’, says company

Former Labor Secretary says lawmakers should act against Facebook

02:59 , Graeme Massie

Robert Reich took to Twitter to urge US politicians to act over the social media giant following testimony from whistle blower Frances Haugen.

“Haugen’s courageous testimony and yesterday’s outage confirm what we already knew: Facebook has amassed far too much power over our communications, our democracy, and our day-to-day lives — and the consequences, as we’ve seen, are dire. Congress must act,” he wrote.

Monica Lewinsky says social media giants needs to do better

02:01 , Graeme Massie

Monica Lewinsky told CNN that Facebook and other social media companies “need to do better” as they come under increased scrutiny about how they are used to spread misinformation and violence.

“I absolutely think that all of the social media companies, even though they are trying, they can definitely do better. And they need to do better,” Ms Lewinsky told CNN’s Jake Tapper.

Ms Lewinsky, who spent years out of the public eye following her affair with Bill Clinton, is now known as an activist against bullying and cyberbullying.

 (CNN)
(CNN)

70m people signed up for Telegram messaging app during Facebook’s hours-long outage, founder says

01:03 , Graeme Massie

Messaging app Telegram says it added 70m new users during the six-hour outage of Facebook and WhatsApp.

Telegram founder and chief executive Pavel Durov announced the massive boost in what he called a “record increase in user registration and activity”.

Facebook’s 3.5bn users were unable to access its products, including Instagram and Messenger, because of a faulty configuration change the company announced.

Telegram and other messaging apps were flooded with new users as people rushed to find a replacement for Facebook products during the outage.

“I am proud of how our team handled the unprecedented growth because Telegram continued to work flawlessly for the vast majority of our users,” said Mr Durov.

“That said, some users in the Americas may have experienced slower speed than usual as millions of users from these continents rushed to sign up for Telegram at the same time.”

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Facebook’s statement snubs Haugen - but Mark Zuckerberg is absent

09:11 , Adam Smith

“Today, a Senate Commerce subcommittee held a hearing with a former product manager at Facebook who worked for the company for less than two years, had no direct reports, never attended a decision-point meeting with C-level executives — and testified more than six times to not working on the subject matter in question,” said Lena Pietsch, Facebook’s director of policy communications.

“We don’t agree with her characterization of the many issues she testified about. Despite all this, we agree on one thing; it’s time to begin to create standard rules for the internet. It’s been 25 years since the rules for the internet have updated, and instead of expecting the industry to make societal decisions that belong to legislators, it is time for Congress to act.”

However, Facebook has seemed unwilling to put Mark Zuckerberg or head of Instagram Adam Mosseri forward, instead relying on people like its head of safety practices Antigone Davis.

Facebook says outage caused by routine maintenance

Tuesday 5 October 2021 20:32 , Graeme Massie

Facebook Vice President of engineering Santosh Janardhan explained in an updated blog post that the company’s engineers issued a command that unintentionally disconnected Facebook data centers from the rest of the world.

The outage took out the tools that its engineers would normally use to investigate and repair such outages, Facebook said.

The company sent a team of engineers to the location of its data centers to try to debug and restart the systems, but security systems meant it took them extra time to physically get inside the server buildings.

 (Facebook)
(Facebook)

What is the future of Section 230?

Tuesday 5 October 2021 18:21 , Graeme Massie

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen told lawmakers on Tuesday that simply tweaking Section 230, a law that protects social media companies over what users post, would not be enough to regulate the company.

“While important, these will not get to the core of the issue — which is that no one truly understands the destructive choices made by Facebook except Facebook,” she said. “We can afford nothing less than full transparency.”

Adam Smith took a look at Section 230 for The Independent and what its future may look like.

How President Biden could fundamentally change the way the internet works

Some Instagram users still seeing issues

Tuesday 5 October 2021 17:48 , Graeme Massie

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are up and running again after the company’s Monday outage, its worst since 2008, severely impacted its 3bn users worldwide.

But some users are still reporting some issues with Instagram pictures not loading.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

What is BGP?

Tuesday 5 October 2021 16:30 , Adam Smith

As well as Facebook breaking its DNS access, it also hampered its BGP (Border Gateway Protocol).

DNS is akin to a destination - finding an IP address, such as Facebook or YouTube. BGP is the equivalent of a map, telling someone how to get to that destination.

“A BGP hijack is much like if someone were to change out all the signs on a stretch of freeway and reroute automobile traffic onto incorrect exits”, Cloudflare says.

Facebook has its own BGP system it designed itself, and it appears that in an update, it essentially took itself off the map.

“At 15:58 UTC we noticed that Facebook had stopped announcing the routes to their DNS prefixes. That meant that, at least, Facebook’s DNS servers were unavailable. Because of this Cloudflare’s 1.1.1.1 DNS resolver could no longer respond to queries asking for the IP address of facebook.com”, Cloudflare says in a dedicated explanation of the outage.

“Meanwhile, other Facebook IP addresses remained routed but weren’t particularly useful since without DNS Facebook and related services were effectively unavailable”

Facebook whistleblower starts testifying

Tuesday 5 October 2021 15:33 , Adam Smith

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is now testifying before a Senate hearing, urging the government to regulate the social media company.

Ms Haugen, who spoke in-depth about the company during an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes on Sunday, said that the social network repeatedly prioritised “growth over safety” and is “tearing our societies apart”.

Get the full story with our live blog, detailing everything that happens

MMS messages were up 500 per cent

Tuesday 5 October 2021 15:30 , Adam Smith

While Facebook was down, people were sending more messages than they had on New Year’s Eve in 2020, 2019, or 2018.

“As some of the world’s most popular social media platforms went down last night, our network saw a huge spike in SMS traffic as customers switched from apps to more traditional means and our network continued to support them. In fact, between 8:00pm and 9:00pm we carried more SMS than the last three New Year’s Eves – traditionally the busiest time for text”, Carlo Melis, Chief Network Officer at Three UK, said.

“MMS also increased by almost 500 per cent compared to last Monday as people continued to share their selfies with friends and family”,

6

Tuesday 5 October 2021 14:27 , Adam Smith

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has posted an enigmatic tweet: “6”

Although it is unclear exactly what this refers to, it is possible that it is a snub at Mark Zuckerberg, who dropped to the sixth richest person on the planet following the outage.

The Independent has reached out to Twitter for clarification.

Tuesday 5 October 2021 12:55 , Vishwam Sankaran

Telegram saw downloads and sign-ups soar during Facebook outage

Following the global outage that made Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger unusable for six-hours on Monday, the cross-platform messaging app Telegram saw a surge in number of new users.

During the outage, Telegram, whose functionality is similar to that of WhatsApp, became one of the most downloaded app from the 56th position in the US, according to app analyst Sensor Tower.

The messaging app became the 5th most downloaded free app in the US on Monday, preceded only by Instagram, TikTok, Netflix, and Facebook.

Tuesday 5 October 2021 11:34 , Vishwam Sankaran

Late-night show hosts Stephen Colbert and Jimmy Kimmel also mock Facebook over Monday’s outage.

The comedians roasted the social media company, also highlighting the 60 minutes interview of former Facebook employee Frances Haugen in which she said the company prioritised its own profits over the public good.

“Not even 12 hours after the #LeaveFacebook started trending on Twitter after the 60 minutes story last night, Facebook seems they may’ve deleted themselves,” Mr Kimmel said in his opening monologue, referring to the outage.

On The Late Show, host Stephen Colbert mocked Facebook that a “just God” was responsible for the outage which made Facebook’s platforms unusable for hours.

Tuesday 5 October 2021 11:01 , Vishwam Sankaran

Millions flocked to Signal when WhatsApp was down

“Millions of new people” joined the Signal messaging app when WhatsApp, Facebook, and Instagram were down due to a massive outage on Monday.

During the six-hour long outage that saw $7 billion wiped from Mark Zuckerberg’s net worth, Signal said signups on its platform were “on the way up”.

The company tweeted that millions joined the platform during this period, messaging and calling up, but added that some people “aren’t seeing all of their contacts appear on Signal” due to the influx of users.

Compared to Facebook, which plans to centralise and integrate the infrastructure across its platforms, Signal’s basic code is open source and can be examined by security experts outside the company.

You can read more about the differences between the messaging platforms here.

Tuesday 5 October 2021 10:25 , Vishwam Sankaran

Facebook platforms may continue to face issues as systems come online

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp could continue to experience issues as systems come back online after Monday’s major outage.

“Facebook services coming back online now - may take some time to get to 100%,” Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s outgoing chief technology officer, said in a Twitter post.

“To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I’m sorry,” he added.

“Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations,” Santosh Janardhan, Facebook’s vice president of engineering and infrastructure, wrote in a company blog post on Tuesday.

Tuesday 5 October 2021 09:57 , Vishwam Sankaran

WhatsApp is back and “running at 100 per cent”

The company head Will Cathcard tweeted that the messaging service app is “entirely back,” thanking everyone who worked hard to resolve the six-hour outage platforms including Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram experienced on Monday.

“We’ll learn and grow from this, and continue working to provide you with a simple, secure, and reliable private messaging app,” he added.

Tuesday 5 October 2021 08:44 , Vishwam Sankaran

Facebook.com was up for sale

For a few hours during Monday’s outage of platforms including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, numerous domain registration companies listed Facebook.com as up for sale.

This was because automated systems, which are used by these companies, look for registered domains that seem to be expired, recently vacated, or abandoned.

One such listing was mistakenly made in the domain registrar Uniregistry Market, owned by GoDaddy, but has since been removed.

“A third-party who doesn’t own Facebook.com attempted to list it for sale on Uniregistry.com and we inadvertently included it in search results. Because the third-party didn’t own or control the domain, it was never at risk of being sold and it remains with the current owner,” GoDaddy told The Mac Observer.

Tuesday 5 October 2021 07:54 , Vishwam Sankaran

Jimmy Fallon mocks Facebook after outage

Late Night comedy show host Jimmy Fallon takes a dig at Facebook following the platform’s six-hour outage on Monday.

“They were like, ‘Oh my god...this is the BEST press we’ve had in months!,’ Fallon said in his opening monologue on The Tonight Show.

Hinting at the Covid-19 vaccine misinformation spread on the platform, Fallon said “Facebook was down for only a day and in that short time, everyone got the vaccine.”

Tuesday 5 October 2021 06:35 , Vishwam Sankaran

Outage may have cost global economy over $1 billion

An hour of outage of Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger would cost the global economy about $160 billion, according to an estimate by London-based internet monitoring firm NetBlocks.

The firm’s Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST), estimates that the overall six-hour outage of the platforms may have resulted in losses to the global economy exceeding $1bn US dollars.

Facebook asked federal court to dismiss FTC complaint

Tuesday 5 October 2021 04:00 , Graeme Massie

The social media giant filed a motion in the US District Court for the District of Columbia, on the same day it was hit by a major outage.

Facebook said the Federal Trade Commission had failed to prove that it has a monopoly in the “personal social networking space.”

“The FTC’s fictional market ignores the competitive reality: Facebook competes vigorously with TikTok, iMessage, Twitter, Snapchat, LinkedIn, YouTube, and countless others to help people share, connect, communicate or simply be entertained,” Facebook said in a statement.

“The FTC cannot credibly claim Facebook has monopoly power because no such power exists.”

Tuesday 5 October 2021 03:46 , Vishwam Sankaran

Facebook reveals what caused six-hour outage

Facebook said in an official blog post on Tuesday that the six-hour outage across its platforms including Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp, and OculusVR were caused by configuration changes to its routers which coordinate network traffic between the company’s data centers.

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

Facebook said it has no evidence yet that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.

“The underlying cause of this outage also impacted many of the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations, complicating our attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem,” it added.

Big tech expert advises how we should view Facebook’s mass outage

Tuesday 5 October 2021 02:45 , Graeme Massie

When Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went dark for more than six hours, it left its billions of users without a major form of communication and severely disrupted their online lives.

Facebook and its apps, which are all owned by Mark Zuckerberg’s social media giant stopped working at around 11.40am Eastern Time on Monday, and started coming back to live after 6pm.

More below.

Big tech expert advises how we should view Facebook’s mass outage

Facebook whistleblower will urge Congress to regulate the company

Tuesday 5 October 2021 01:45 , Graeme Massie

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen will urge the US Congress on Tuesday to regulate the social media giant, which she will compare to tobacco companies.

“When we realised tobacco companies were hiding the harms it caused, the government took action. When we figured out cars were safer with seatbelts, the government took action,” said Haugen’s written testimony to be delivered to a Senate Commerce subcommittee, according to Reuters.

“I implore you to do the same here.”

Haugen will tell the committee that Facebook executives routinely chose the firm’s profits over user safety.

“The company’s leadership knows ways to make Facebook and Instagram safer and won’t make the necessary changes because they have put their immense profits before people. Congressional action is needed,” she will say. “As long as Facebook is operating in the dark, it is accountable to no one. And it will continue to make choices that go against the common good.”

In this Sept. 16, 2021, photo provided by CBS, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen talks with CBS’ Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes,” in an episode that aired Sunday, Oct. 3. (AP)
In this Sept. 16, 2021, photo provided by CBS, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen talks with CBS’ Scott Pelley on “60 Minutes,” in an episode that aired Sunday, Oct. 3. (AP)

Facebook stock nosedive costs Zuckberg $6bn as whistleblower interview and service outage rattle investors

Tuesday 5 October 2021 00:42 , Graeme Massie

Shares in Facebook fell sharply on Monday in the aftermath of the explosive interview with whistleblower Frances Haugen and as its service outage dragged on for fifth hour.

It is the worst session performance for the company in nearly a year with the share price falling 4.9 per cent – the worst decline since the five per cent drop recorded on 9 November 2020.

Oliver O’Connell has the story.

Facebook stock nosedive costs Zuckberg $6bn amid crisis double-whammy

Facebook apologises for company outage

Monday 4 October 2021 23:48 , Graeme Massie

“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 company said in a statement posted on rival platform Twitter.

Facebook and its apps appear to be coming back online after a huge outage

Monday 4 October 2021 23:14 , Graeme Massie

Facebook and its apps appear to be coming back online after its hugeMonday outage.

Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and the main Facebook app had all been offline for more than five hours in one of the biggest technical failures in the company’s history.

Andrew Griffin has the story.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are coming back to life

Gmail, TikTok and Snapchat users complain apps are slowing down amid Facebook going down

Monday 4 October 2021 22:47 , Graeme Massie

Gmail, TikTok and Snapchat users have complained that the apps are slowing down amid the continued outage of Facebook companies.

Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram all stopped working at the same time of Monday, forcing their 3bn users to flood across to other social media platforms.

And many of those apps then themselves saw significant slowdowns as they dealt with mass sign-ups and log-ins as Facebook remained unavailable.

Now Gmail, TikTok and Snapchat users complain apps are slowing down

As outage continues into fifth hour, Facebook tries to restart

Monday 4 October 2021 22:21 , Andrew Griffin

There are rumours whipping around the internet that, among other things, Facebook has been “deleted”, that it has been “hacked”, that is has “gone”. The truth appears to be a little less dramatic – though still plenty dramatic.

Essentially, Facebook has deleted its DNS, or the address book that helps people find its websites. When someone types “Facebook.com” into a web browser, the DNS should be able to provide it with the numerical address to get the data that represents the website. But that DNS is broken, so the web browser gets lost, and you get an error message. (The same thing happens, effectively, with the app, although not in such an obvious way.)

That’s so widespread because Facebook controls its DNS. And Facebook does that on behalf of all the services it owns: WhatsApp, Instagram, Messenger, Workplace, Oculus, and more besides. So everything has broken, all at once.

What’s more, Facebook also heavily relies on its own systems internally. So, for example, the fact the DNS isn’t working means that those engineers who should be able to fix it also can’t access it. That’s why staffers are now reportedly being sent to actual physical data centres to try and make things work again. And that’s where we are now.

To borrow an analogy from earlier, it is as if we (or our web browsers) have turned up at the Facebook office in the hope of getting into one of its many rooms. But the receptionist who usually keeps the record of which room is which is gone – they’ve been deleted – and so you’re stuck outside with no idea where to go.

Inside those rooms are not only Facebook but every Facebook property, which together makes up much of the internet. And all the people who would normally be able to hire a new receptionist can’t find their way around the building, too. We’re all stuck outside, looking in, even those people who would normally be on the inside.

It’s now been five hours since Facebook lost its receptionist. And there’s no sense when they’ll return.

Twitter slows down

Monday 4 October 2021 21:44 , Andrew Griffin

Everything is having a bit of trouble, presumably as many more people than usual switch to it to make up for lack of Facebook. Like Telegram, Twitter is struggling.

Our full story is here.

Telegram slows down

Monday 4 October 2021 21:20 , Andrew Griffin

As Messenger, WhatsApp and other Facebook chat services break, some people have turned to Telegram. So many people, in fact, that it seems to be struggling – while it’s still working, it’s doing so much more slowly than usual.

Read the full story here.

Some details of outage begin to appear

Monday 4 October 2021 21:18 , Andrew Griffin

Some details of what exactly has gone wrong, and how Facebook is rushing to fix it, do appear to be coming through. This, from security researcher Steve Gibson, offers something of a picture, though it’s not clear where it’s come from

If this is the case, it means in short that a version of that address book we discussed earlier* has been deleted. But to put it back in place, those working remotely from the relevant servers need the address book to find where they’re going. You can see the difficulty.

Most likely, the fix would require actually going to those servers, and doing the work to get them going again. That’s probably what’s happening right now as Facebook engineers struggle to fix everything.

*Scroll down to the post after the one after this one if you want a pained analogy to explain all this.

Some details of outage begin to appear

Monday 4 October 2021 21:18 , Andrew Griffin

Some details of what exactly has gone wrong, and how Facebook is rushing to fix it, do appear to be coming through. This, from security researcher Steve Gibson, offers something of a picture, though it’s not clear where it’s come from

If this is the case, it means in short that a version of that address book we discussed earlier* has been deleted. But to put it back in place, those working remotely from the relevant servers need the address book to find where they’re going. You can see the difficulty.

Most likely, the fix would require actually going to those servers, and doing the work to get them going again. That’s probably what’s happening right now as Facebook engineers struggle to fix everything.

*Scroll down to the post after the one after this one if you want a pained analogy to explain all this.

Facebook chief technology officer offers ‘*sincere*’ apologies

Monday 4 October 2021 21:11 , Graeme Massie

Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, has posted his first tweet about the outage.

The wording is much the same as Facebook’s statement much earlier on, and gives no new information. But the fact it’s being posted at all probably says something about how hectic things must be at Facebook at the minute.

Facebook ‘withdrawn’ from the phone book of the internet

Monday 4 October 2021 20:27 , Andrew Griffin

Facebook appears to have had its DNS records taken from the global routing tables. That’s according to Brian Krebs, a cyber security expert who runs a popular blog.

In slightly less nerdy speak, that means that effectively Facebook.com, Instagram.com and presumably the rest have had their records wiped from the internet’s address book. When you type one of those URLs into your internet browser, it should be able to speak to Facebook and ask it where it needs to go – but the system that does so has been withdrawn.

It’s like turning up at the Facebook office for a meeting but the receptionist isn’t there. You (or your computer) are just stuck at the desk, since you (or it) don’t know the number of the office door you’re trying to get to. (Or something like that analogy.)

It’s not clear why that happened. Facebook is so big that it runs its own DNS – unlike other, smaller companies – so only someone at Facebook would have the power to stop it running, too.

Here’s Krebs saying much the same thing, in a more legitimate way:

AOC mocks Facebook’s outage

Monday 4 October 2021 20:07 , Andrew Griffin

Taking advantage of the outage, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has joked that people should use the opportunity to share “our favorite stories of democracy working in hopeful ways and coolest evidence-based reporting”. Examples can be found in the replies to the tweet below.

Users report internet problems – but it’s probably Facebook

Monday 4 October 2021 19:38 , Andrew Griffin

Over at Down Detector – a website we’re probably all becoming very familiar with today – reports of issues at carriers and internet networks are surging. In the US, that’s T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T and others; in the UKit’s Virgin Media, BT, Vodafone, Sky and more.

But it’s probably because Facebook is down, which in turn means Instagram and WhatsApp are down, which in turn means that almost everything a lot of people do with their phone is broken. So it looks like the internet as a whole is broken. But it’s not.

Here’s our full story.

Twitter celebrates as users flock from Facebook and Instagram

Monday 4 October 2021 19:01 , Andrew Griffin

At least Twitter is enjoying itself. It has responded to the outage from its official account.

Our full story is here.

When will Facebook be back and why is it, WhatsApp and Instagram not working?

Monday 4 October 2021 18:34 , Andrew Griffin

What’s going on, and when will it stop? Well – nobody really knows. But here’s our best guess.

Read the full explainer here.

Keep up with our newsletter

Monday 4 October 2021 18:28 , Andrew Griffin

Like to keep up to date with all the latest tech news? Then sign up to our free weekly IndyTech newsletter for updates and analysis on everything from the state of the International Space Station to latest news on Bitcoin. To sign up click here and scroll down to the tech icon.

WhatsApp outage unconnected to reports it is about to stop working for ‘millions'

Monday 4 October 2021 18:11 , Andrew Griffin

There were reports last week that WhatsApp was about to stop working on a range of old phones. They turned out to be a little misleading: while it is about to cut off support for phones with older operating systems, the list of devices that it supposedly affected was incorrect. You can read all about that here.

But that’s unconnected to this. It doesn’t come into effect until 1 November, anyway. But hopefully it’s an interesting story to read while you wait for it to come back online.

Why has Facebook broken? DNS could be the culprit

Monday 4 October 2021 18:08 , Andrew Griffin

Here’s a very simple version of one of the problems that Facebook is having: its domain name system, or DNS, is not working. That might be a symptom or it might be the cause – we should find out soon enough – but it is the reason that when you type “Facebook.com” into your browser, the computer is unable to have that converted into the actual data that makes up the Facebook website.

Outage comes just days after Slack went down

Monday 4 October 2021 18:04 , Andrew Griffin

On Friday, it was Slack. Today it’s Facebook – and also Facebook Workplace. These tools we’re already much relied on, but since the advent of widespread home working, they can put whole offices out of operation.

Here’s our story on the Slack outage the other day.

Outages ‘can often point to a cyber attack’, expert says

Monday 4 October 2021 18:02 , Andrew Griffin

Questions are often asked about cyber attacks after an event like this. But while they can point that way, that can also add to confusion, cautions Jake Moore, the former head of digital forensics at Dorset Police and now cybersecurity specialist at global cybersecurity firm, ESET.

“Outages are increasing in volume and can often point towards a cyber-attack, but this can add to the confusion early on when we are diagnosing the causes,” he said.

“As we saw with Fastly in the summer, web-blackouts are more often originate from undiscovered software bug or even human error.

“Although these are increasing in frequency and require more failsafes in place, predicting these issues is increasingly more difficult as it was never thought possible before”.

Facebook employees take a ‘snow day'

Monday 4 October 2021 17:58 , Andrew Griffin

The NYT’s Ryan Mac reports that, since everything is broken, Facebook employees are taking the equivalent of a “snow day”.

WhatsApp also says it is ‘working to get things back to normal'

Monday 4 October 2021 17:48 , Andrew Griffin

An update from WhatsApp’s Twitter means that all the different apps have now commented on the problem. (All slightly differently.) Here’s WhatsApp’s:

Instagram asks users to ‘bear with us'

Monday 4 October 2021 17:36 , Andrew Griffin

The official “Instagram Comms” account has tweeted about the problems.

Facebook outages can hit other services

Monday 4 October 2021 17:27 , Andrew Griffin

Because Facebook provides services that are central to much of the internet – even sites that do not appear to have anything to do with it – outages like this can sometimes cause problems for other seemingly unrelated sites.

In July of last year, for instance, Spotify stopped seemed to stop working. But the culprit wasn’t actually Spotify itself but instead a Facebook piece of technology that was embedded within the app.

Facebook acknowledges issues

Monday 4 October 2021 17:23 , Andrew Griffin

Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Facebook, has recognised the issue and says it’s being worked on:

Hootsuite posts warning to users

Monday 4 October 2021 17:20 , Andrew Griffin

Hootsuite, the popular social media management tool, has acknowledged that there are issues and says that it is working with the company.

“Facebook and Instagram are currently experiencing issues,” it wrote in an update posted seven minutes ago. “You may encounter issues performing actions for any Facebook or Instagram profile within Hootsuite.

“Our team is working with Facebook and Instagram to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience.”

Why does Facebook keep going down?

Monday 4 October 2021 17:12 , Andrew Griffin

This is a fascinating account, from 2019, of a discussion between Mark Zuckerberg and other Facebook staff after a number of outages. It sheds light on why Facebook is so worried about outages, as well as why they kept happening then.

They’ve slowed down, somewhat, but it has had similar big outages to this in recent months.

You can read The Verge’s story here.

Facebook’s ‘Status’ page is down too

Monday 4 October 2021 17:07 , Andrew Griffin

Facebook also maintains its own “status” page to give updates on how it is performing. But that site is down too, presumably because the whole site is.

(You can find it here, though of course you won’t see anything.)

No news from Facebook yet

Monday 4 October 2021 17:06 , Andrew Griffin

Facebook does have ways of talking to the world: it has official accounts for itself, Instagram and WhatsApp on Twitter, for instance, which it has used for updates on outages in the past.

There’s nothing on any of them yet.

Hello and welcome

Monday 4 October 2021 16:59 , Andrew Griffin

... to The Independent’s live coverage of a major Facebook outage.

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