Thursday, January 27, 2022

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp Services Restored After Global Outage As Tech Giant Blame Configuration Error

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Facebook Inc.’s services went offline for as much as six hours Monday before some of them were restored, an extended outage that disrupted access for users and businesses around the world and left the tech company flailing for a solution.

The company apologized for the outage, which affected its core platforms and apps including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger—and which an outside tracking firm said appeared to be the most widespread in its history. Facebook said the problem was due to networking issues. Outside experts said it appeared to stem from a change the company made to networking instructions for access to its systems.

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The disruption hobbled communication both essential and mundane, cut off small businesses from customers and slowed e-commerce across myriad countries. Some companies saw their operations and revenues curtailed, while others sent out marketing pitches based on the services going dark, underscoring the extent to which Facebook—despite the many controversies and challenges it faces—is at the center of daily life all over the globe.

Instagram To Hide Number Of Likes On Users' PostsUsers began to receive error messages when trying to access Facebook platforms shortly before noon ET. The outage also caused widespread disruptions to Facebook’s internal communication tools, including some voice calls and work apps used for calendar appointments and other functions, according to people familiar with the matter. Some staff were using Zoom to remain connected throughout the day, the people said.

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In a blog post Monday night, Facebook blamed the outage on a configuration error. The outage cut off communications between Facebook’s data centers, leading to a cascade of disruptions as servers were cut off with each other, Facebook said. Internal systems were also hit, making it hard for the company’s engineers to diagnose and fix the problem, the company said. User data wasn’t compromised, according to the company.

Photo Credit: Getty

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