Facebook suffered its worst outage in 13 years as the social media service and its family of apps were inaccessible for hours.
On late Monday night (October 4) up until the early hours the following morning, millions of users tried to log on Facebook and Instagram to no avail. Despite many frustrating and furious attempts to refresh and restart, all they were shown was a nondescript error message. For over six hours, Facebook and its family of apps like Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus, and Messenger, were down and not working, crippling billions of users who were unable to use the apps and websites in any capacity. The outage led to a domino effect that hit many other websites and services. Many people use Facebook as a way to sign in to many other apps, websites, and services. When Facebook went down, they weren’t able to access these services.
This was the biggest outage for Facebook since 2008 when the site was down for a day. The last major outage for Facebook was back in 2019, which lasted for about an hour. By the early morning of Tuesday, October 5, the head-scratching problem was fixed and users could access Facebook again. Facebook released an official statement on Twitter apologizing for the mistake and said that they were working their best to resolve the issue.
MILLIONS RELY ON FACEBOOK
While Facebook going down may not seem like that big of a deal to some people, for hundreds of thousands of small businesses and content creators around the world, the social media platform is their lifeblood. So, many businesses and creators use Facebook and Instagram to conduct their business operations and the outage of the app led to a loss of revenue. Messenger and WhatsApp are also used by people who live far from their families to keep in touch with each other. It also showed that despite the bad reputation Facebook has received throughout the years, millions are still dependent on the social media service and shows that many of us are still reliant on social media in our daily lives.
PROBLEMS WITHIN FACEBOOK
But the problems of Facebook weren’t just limited to outside the company. According to the New York Times, the company’s own internal system was not working. Employees reportedly had trouble making calls on work cellphones and receiving emails from people outside the company. Some employees also had trouble entering the office because their digital badges stopped working.
The report states that a team was sent to a data center in Santa Clara, California to fix their servers. But the problem was that they couldn’t get the servers because it was locked behind cages that needed electronic key card access. The employees’ key cards were not working, so they used an industrial angle grinder to open the cages. Once opened, they performed a “manual reset.”
This all follows recent allegations by whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former product manager from Facebook, about the company. She revealed in documents and interviews that Facebook was aware that its platforms are used to spread hate, violence, and misinformation, including how Instagram was harmful to teens’ mental health.
THE MEMES SOON FOLLOW
Of course, the internet, particularly users on Twitter, were quick to respond to Facebook being down with a series of jokes and memes. Even big companies got in on the fun.
People making jokes about the Facebook services going down make me sick. Anyone who was using an Oculus headset at the time is currently trapped in VR, and if they die there then they die in real life.— Gavin Young (@GavinDYoung) October 4, 2021
Mark Zuckerberg right now: pic.twitter.com/QzwPkJcymz— Ntuthuko (@ntux_SA) October 4, 2021
Everyone: Facebook down! Instagram down! Messenger down!— Tsaastrology (@tsaastrology) October 4, 2021
Us: Mercury retrograde.
Instagram and Facebook users checking out Twitter while they’re down pic.twitter.com/MGZoRYmRXl— James Felton (@JimMFelton) October 4, 2021
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