Today being the 4th of October – Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp fell out for users all across the world on Monday, as the social media giant struggled to restore the services hours later following one of its longest outages.
The disruption began about noon Eastern time (1600 GMT), and it took more than four hours for service to be restored.
On Sunday, a whistleblower accused Facebook of prioritizing business over combating hate speech and misinformation on numerous occasions. Instagram and WhatsApp are owned by the company.
After the weekend whistleblower story, shares of Facebook (FB.O), which has roughly 2 billion daily active users, began down and fell further to trade down 5.3 percent in midday trading on Monday. In the midst of a broader selloff in technology equities on Monday, they were on track for their worst day in a year.
Because the Domain Name System was not directing visitors to the correct location, Facebook was unavailable. The necessary settings are controlled by Facebook, implying that the issue is internal.
Security experts believe the outage was caused by an internal error, while sabotage by an insider is technically possible.
The Domain Name System (DNS) enables web addresses to direct users to their desired locations. In July, a similar outage at cloud services provider Akamai Technologies Inc (AKAM.O) brought down various websites.
A hack from the outside was thought to be less likely.
According to security experts, a huge denial-of-service assault that might overwhelm one of the world’s most famous websites would necessitate either collaboration among powerful criminal gangs or a highly inventive technique.
Facebook admitted that users were having problems accessing its apps, but did not elaborate on the nature of the issue or how many people were affected.
About 30 minutes after the first reports of the outage, Facebook wrote, “We’re working to bring everything back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any disruption.”
According to Reuters, all internal Facebook functions were unavailable. According to those familiar with the situation, Facebook’s response was made considerably more difficult because staff lost access to some of their own tools as a result of the shutdown.
Several employees claimed they were not informed of the problem.
According to estimates from ad measurement firm Standard Media Index, the social media behemoth, which is the world’s second-largest digital advertising platform, was losing around $545,000 in U.S. ad revenue every hour during the downtime.
The figures are based on total ad spending on Facebook and Instagram by major advertising firms from January to August of this year
There were more than 50,000 incidences of individuals reporting troubles with Facebook and Instagram, according to Downdetector, which only tracks outages by combining status updates from a variety of sources, including user-submitted faults on its site. It’s possible that the outage is affecting a bigger number of people.
Over 35,000 people were unable to use WhatsApp, while approximately 9,800 people were unable to use Messenger, the social media giant’s instant messaging application.
In March and July of this year, Facebook’s suite of apps faced severe outages.
Several people are having problems logging in to third-party apps like Pokemon Go and Match Masters using their Facebook accounts.
“If your game isn’t working as it should, please remember that there’s been an issue with Facebook login servers,” Match Masters stated on Twitter. “Once this is fixed, everything will be back to normal.”