It took many hours for Facebook, its Instagram, and WhatsApp platforms to come back online following a huge global outage that threw the services, as well as the companies and individuals that rely on them, into turmoil.
In a statement released late Monday, Facebook stated that “the main cause of this outage was an incorrect configuration update” and that there is “no indication” that user data was stolen as a consequence of the outage.
The business expressed regret and stated that it is attempting to learn more about the source of the problem, which occurred about 11:40 a.m. Eastern time on Monday.
Following the disclosure of internal documents to The Wall Street Journal by whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, the company was already embroiled in a major crisis of its own. The documents revealed the company’s awareness of the harms caused by its products and decisions at the time.
After appearing on CBS’s “60 Minutes” show on Sunday, Haugen is slated to testify before a Senate panel on Tuesday, according to reports.
The reports published by the Journal, dubbed “The Facebook Files,” portrayed a picture of a business that prioritised development and its own interests over the public’s welfare. Facebook has attempted to downplay the significance of its actions.
On Friday, Facebook’s vice president of policy and public affairs, Nick Clegg, wrote in a message to the company’s workers, noting that “social media has had a significant influence on society in recent years, and Facebook is frequently a venue where much of this discussion plays out.”
The outage did little to buttress Facebook’s claim that its size and influence enable it to deliver significant advantages to the international community. Concerns have been raised regarding the hazards of the company’s intentions to combine the technology behind its platforms, according to Netblocks, a London-based internet monitoring business.
The company’s aspirations to merge the technology behind its platforms were revealed in 2019. Netblocks claims that although centralization “provides the firm with an uniform picture of consumers’ internet usage patterns,” it also renders services subject to single points of failure, according to the company.
For several hours, Facebook’s sole public statement was a tweet in which the company admitted that “some individuals are experiencing difficulties using (the) Facebook app” and stated that it was working on restoring access to the service. In response to the internal failings, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri stated that the company is experiencing a “snow day.”
Facebook blamed the changes on routers, which are responsible for coordinating network traffic between data centres, in a statement released Monday night. As a result of these modifications, the firm claims that communication was disrupted, which had “a cascade impact on how our data centres interact, effectively shutting down all of our services.”
As of Monday afternoon, there was no indication of malevolent conduct on the part of the perpetrators. According to Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare, “nothing we’re seeing linked to the Facebook services outage implies it was an assault,” according to a tweet.
Messages to Facebook seeking comment on the attack or the likelihood of malicious activity were not returned by press time.
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