By Kurt Wagner / Bloomberg News (TNS)
Facebook Inc. blamed a global service outage that kept its social media apps offline for much of Monday on an issue with its network configuration, adding that it had found no evidence that user data were compromised during the downtime.
“This disruption in network traffic has had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, shutting down our services,” the company’s engineering team wrote in a blog post Monday night.
The tech glitch took Facebook’s main social network, Instagram photo app, and WhatsApp and Messenger services offline for hours, marking one of the longest and biggest failures in recent memory.
After falling 4.9% on Monday, the stock was up 1.5% to $ 331.20 at 4:30 a.m. in New York City during pre-market trading.
The Facebook outage had a seismic impact, bringing to a halt a suite of services that more than 2.75 billion people rely on daily to communicate, do business and consume news. It has dominated reporting and sent people across the world rushing to other apps and services in an attempt to stay connected and informed.
CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologized on his Facebook page after the network was restored. “Sorry for the disruption today – I know how much you rely on our services to stay in touch with the people you care about,” he wrote.
Facebook’s internal tools and communications systems have been affected by the disruption, adding to the challenge for engineers working to identify and resolve the issue. Its in-house work product, Workplace, was also affected. Addressing the underlying issue involved visiting a physical server installation and manually resetting some servers, a spokesperson said.
“To all the businesses large and small, families and individuals who depend on us, I’m sorry,” CTO Mike Schroepfer tweeted Monday afternoon. His apology was reiterated by Facebook’s engineering blog.
Facebook’s loss turned into a gain for other social media. Twitter Inc.’s network remained online, with CEO Jack Dorsey tweeting his endorsement of Signal private messaging as an alternative to WhatsApp. Signal signed up millions of new users that day, while Telegram, whose features closely mirror those of WhatsApp, climbed 55 places to top the US iPhone downloads rankings, according to Sensor. Tower.
While it’s not uncommon for Facebook’s apps to have occasional glitches, they rarely last more than a few minutes. Downdetector, who monitors internet problems, said the Facebook outage was the largest it had ever seen, with more than 10.6 million reports worldwide.
Monday’s extended outage was the latest in a string of difficult events for Facebook. A former employee turned whistleblower appeared on CBS’s “60 Minutes” Sunday to accuse the company of prioritizing profits over user safety. Former employee Frances Haugen also handed over thousands of damning documents to U.S. lawmakers and the Wall Street Journal, which wrote a series of articles last month on Facebook’s struggles with content moderation and impact. Instagram negative psychological on teens.
The whistleblower is due to testify before a Senate subcommittee on Tuesday and plans to tell lawmakers the “scary truth” on Facebook.
“Facebook has become a trillion dollar business by paying for its profits with our safety, including the safety of our children,” Haugen will tell the Senate on Tuesday, according to a copy of his prepared testimony. “I came forward because I recognized a frightening truth: hardly anyone outside of Facebook knows what’s going on inside Facebook. Company management keeps vital information from the public, the US government, its shareholders, and governments around the world.
Facebook shares fell 4.9% to $ 326.23 at the close in New York. They had refused before the outage was reported, hurt by the whistleblower’s “60 minute” appearance.
Facebook’s internal apps also ceased to function in 2019, following a dispute with Apple Inc. that discontinued some of the functionality of those apps on the iPhone manufacturer’s platform. The extent of Monday’s disruption was more serious. Some workers even struggled to use Facebook’s ID badge system in offices during the outage.