Facebook Blames Catastrophic Outage on ‘Configuration Changes’

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook speaks at Georgetown
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty

Facebook services have come back online following an outage lasting about seven hours, the longest downtime that the site has seen since 2008. The catastrophic outage also impacted the company’s Instagram and WhatsApp platforms, bringing the Masters of the Universe to a grinding halt for most of Monday. The company has blamed “configuration changes” for bringing its entire empire to its knees.

Yesterday, Breitbart News reported that Facebook services including Facebook.com, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp had gone offline suddenly shortly before noon EST. Facebook took to Twitter to notify its users of ongoing issues.

Around six hours later the company posted another tweet stating that services were beginning to be restored:

Now, Facebook has published a blog post detailing the issues that caused the outage, stating that most services have since been restored, but some are still experiencing issues. Facebook’s VP of Infrastructure, Santosh Janardhan, explained what caused the issue in a blog post, writing:

Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.

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.

Janardhan further apologized to Facebook users for the issue stating: “To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms.”

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg askew on a TV

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg askew on a TV ( MANDEL NGAN /Getty)

Facebook has faced downtime before, in 2019 the website went offline for around an hour due to a server configuration change. In 2008, a bug caused Facebook to go offline for an entire day, however, at the time the website only had around 80 million users compared to the site’s 2.89 billion active monthly users today.

It has been reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has lost nearly $7 billion since the outage as Facebook stock prices plummeted. This has dropped Zuckerberg from the rank of fifth richest person in the world to sixth richest person, just below former Oracle CEO Larry Ellison according to the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List.

The outage comes as Facebook faces major scrutiny following a series of reports from the Wall Street Journal called the “Facebook Files” that revealed a number of damning internal Facebook documents.  The Facebook whistleblower behind the document leak is expected to testify today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation. The full hearing can be watched here.

Read more coverage of the Facebook Files saga at Breitbart News here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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