Wednesday, October 20

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


Article content

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp at least partially reconnected to the global internet late on Monday afternoon Eastern time, nearly six hours into an outage that paralyzed the social media platform.

Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram apps went dark at around noon Eastern time (1600 GMT), in what website monitoring group Downdetector said was the largest such failure it had ever seen.

Around 5:45 pm ET, some users began to regain partial access to the three apps.

The outage was the second blow to the social media giant in as many days after a whistleblower on Sunday https://www.reuters.com/technology/facebook-whistleblower-reveals-identity-ahead-senate-hearing-2021-10- 03 accused the company of repeatedly prioritizing profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation.

Advertisement

Article content

“To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I’m sorry,” Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer tweeted, adding that it “may take some time to get to 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 broader selloff in technology stocks. Shares rose about half a percent in after-hours trade following resumption of service .

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

“Facebook basically locked its keys in its car,” tweeted Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.

Advertisement

Article content

Soon after the outage started, Facebook acknowledged users were having trouble accessing its apps but did not provide any specifics about the nature of the problem or say 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 take users to their destinations. A similar outage at cloud company Akamai Technologies Inc took down multiple websites in July.

Several Facebook employees who declined to be named said that they believed that the outage was caused by an internal routing mistake to an internet domain that was compounded by the failures of internal communication tools and other resources that depend on that same domain in order to work.

Advertisement

Article content

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

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

Haugen was due to urge the US Congress on Tuesday to regulate the company, which she plans to liken to tobacco companies that for decades denied that smoking damaged health, according to prepared testimony seen by Reuters.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews and Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Tiyashi Datta, Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru, Joseph Menn in San Francisco and Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Uttaresh.V, Shailesh Kuber, Anil D’Silva and Sonya Hepinstall)

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.



financialpost.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *