Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp down, restored after 6 hours

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Due to a technical problem, popular social media platforms and messaging apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were offline on Monday evening.

The nearly six-hour outage on Monday, which prohibited the company’s 3.5 billion users from accessing its services, including WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger, was blamed on a “faulty configuration change,” according to Facebook Inc.

“We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change,” Facebook said in a blog. Soon after the outage, Facebook confirmed that users were having problems accessing its apps, but did not elaborate on the nature of the issue.

The error message on Facebook’s page revealed a problem with the Domain Name System (DNS), which directs users to their destinations using web addresses. Reuters reported that several Facebook employees who did not want to be identified said they suspected the outage was caused by an internal error in how internet traffic is routed to the company’s infrastructure. Internal communication tools and other resources that rely on the same network to function, they claimed, aggravated the problem. According to security experts, an unintentional error or insider sabotage could be the culprits.

The shares of Facebook fell 4.9 per cent, their biggest daily drop since last November, amid a broader selloff in technology stocks on Monday. “To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I’m sorry,” Facebook chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer wrote on Twitter, adding that it “may take some time to get to 100 percent”.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were reconnected to the worldwide internet at least partially late Monday afternoon, some six hours after the social media site was immobilised by an outage.

At around noon Eastern time (1600 GMT), Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram apps went dark, in what website monitoring firm Downdetector described as the largest such outage it has ever witnessed.Some Facebook users began to regain partial access to the three applications around 5:45 p.m. ET.

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