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Facebook, WhatsApp & Instagram Outage Could’ve Been Due To Human Error
By Alexa Heah, 05 Oct 2021
Image via BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com
Billions of users across the globe were befuddled when Facebook’s multiple platforms, including WhatsApp and Instagram, went down for several hours. All three apps had gone down at about 12pm, with Downdetector saying it was one of the largest worldwide outages ever seen.
“Facebook is currently experiencing a rarely seen global outage that is taking out Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger,” its blog post read, saying it had received over 10 million complaints.
This incident has highlighted just how reliant we are on Facebook’s infrastructure. Millions of people, businesses, and organizations were left stranded—unable to receive updates or communicate with anyone.
At about 6pm, some of the services were returning slowly. Facebook apologized to its users via Twitter, saying: “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.”
While Facebook has yet to come up with an in-depth explanation for such a large-scale outage, experts believe the issue was caused by an internal update to the site’s infrastructure.
“The outage is caused by changes made to the Facebook network infrastructure. Many of the recent high-profile outages have been caused by similar network-level events,” said Adam Leon Smith, a software testing expert from BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, as reported by The Guardian.
“It is reported by unidentified Facebook sources on Reddit that the network changes have also prevented engineers from remotely connecting to resolve the issues, delaying resolution.”
In fact, according to journalist Sheera Frenkel, the network failure had even affected Facebook’s offices, with employees unable to enter the building with their passes.
While speculation has been rife as to the cause of the massive blackout, especially as Facebook faces increasing pressure from a whistleblower, as well as reports on its platforms’ effects on teens, it does seem that the outage was likely caused by human error in updating the code.
[via The Guardian, cover image via BigTunaOnline / Shutterstock.com]
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