On Wednesday, we saw a massive outage on both Facebook and Instagram - with WhatsApp also experiencing some issues. Facebook has tweeted a mini statement blaming their issues on a server configuration change. The social media giant has now said that it has fixed the issue to its core facebook service and all of its products and services are now accessible again.
In total, users saw downtime or a severe impact on Facebook, as well as Instagram and WhatsApp, which are also owned by the company, for nearly 14 hours. The issue affected Millions of people that began venting their frustration on Twitter from 12:00 PM ET onwards. Downdetector, a website used to report website problems, received over 12,000 reports by 9:00 PM ET. This was the largest ever issue recorded by the website.
“By duration, this is by far the largest outage we have seen since the launch of Downdetector in 2012,” said Tom Sanders, co-founder of Downdetector. “Our systems processed about 7.5 million problem reports from end users over the course of this incident. Never before have we such a large scale outage.”
Facebook first publicly acknowledged the issue on Wednesday afternoon, when they tweeted that "some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps." Soon after, they also acknowledged that their network was NOT downed by hackers with a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
Initially, it was thought that the Facebook outage might have been a network BGP hardware error, but due to users receiving ‘500 internal server errors’ when visiting Facebook, this idea was dismissed. Netscout, which initially claimed the outage was due to a BGP route leak, later retracted that explanation.
Facebook does not suffer outages too often, but this is the second time in recent times they have had issues. Back in November 2018 the company also had issues with Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. That time the issue was blamed on a "routine test."