If you somehow managed to miss the global panic, then there was a worldwide six-hour outage on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp yesterday.
Facebook and its various subsidiaries went offline from around 4.30pm BST yesterday, and, as often is the case when such social media outages happen, it caused somewhat of a public meltdown, with people stripped of their first-choice forms of online communications and many users taking to Twitter to share their reactions.
Not long after the outage, theories began to circulate online about the source of the problem – with one viral tweet suggesting that a large section of the routing had been “deleted”.
Facebook did not provide an explanation as to what the problem was immediately after the platforms went down, however it did acknowledge the issue and apologised for the inconvenience it was causing users.
However, Facebook later shared a blog post to reveal the true cause of the issue.
In the post titled ‘Update on the October 4th outage’, Facebook explained: “Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centres caused issues that interrupted this communication.
“This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centres communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”
The statement then assured users: “We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change.
“We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”
The post said that all services were now back online, and that that Facebook is “continuing to actively work” to make sure they operated regularly.
The company’s stocks dropped nearly 5% after the outage yesterday, compared to when it dropped around 15% in the middle of September, The Independent reports.
Facebook stressed how sorry it was to all who “rely” on it everyday and that an investigation would continue so that it could “understand more about what happened” in order to “make [their] infrastructure more resilient”.
Featured Image – Flickr