Facebook and Instagram back after longest worldwide outage ever; company details root cause

Facebook says it is "happy to report [its services] are coming back online now."

Facebook announced in a statement late Monday that its platforms are "back up and running" after a massive global outage plunged its main site, Instagram and WhatsApp platforms into the dark earlier in the day.

The company said in a blog post that its engineering teams found 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."

While these platforms are running again, "we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations."

"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 statement read.

FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER HEARING: WHAT TO KNOW

Facebook spokesman Andy Stone also tweeted an apology, adding that he was "happy to report [Facebook's services] are coming back online now."

According to DownDetecter, thousands of users across the globe began reporting outages on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and Oculus around 11 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday. 

"We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products," Stone tweeted at around noon Monday. "We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience."

According to DownDetecter, thousands of users across the globe began reporting outages on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and Oculus around 11 a.m. Monday.  (Facebook)

Facebook shares fell as much as 5% during Monday's trading session.

"People and businesses around the world rely on us everyday to stay connected. We understand the impact outages like these have on people’s lives, and our responsibility to keep people informed about disruptions to our services. We apologize to all those affected, and we’re working to understand more about what happened today so we can continue to make our infrastructure more resilient," the company blog post added. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FB FACEBOOK, INC. 324.76 -3.77 -1.15%

FACEBOOK WHISTLEBLOWER ACCUSES COMPANY OF ‘TEARING OUR SOCIETIES APART’

In addition to the temporary outages, Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen is set to testify on Tuesday morning against the social media giant. On Sunday, Haugen was revealed on CBS' "60 Minutes" as the woman who anonymously filed complaints with federal law enforcement that Facebook's own research shows how it magnifies hate and misinformation, leads to increased polarization and that Instagram, specifically, can harm teenage girls' mental health.

Haugen claimed that Facebook betrayed "democracy" by allowing the algorithm to push misinformation on its users during the 2020 election. She said the company recognized the risk of misinformation and added safety systems to reduce that risk, but she accused the company of loosening those measures after the election.

"As soon as the election was over, they turned them back off or they changed the settings back to what they were before, to prioritize growth over safety," Haugen said. "And that really feels like a betrayal of democracy to me."

Haugen also leaked internal documents to The Wall Street Journal, dubbed "The Facebook Files," which paint a picture of a company focused on growth and its own interests instead of the public good. Facebook has vehemently denied the allegations.

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While it is normal for websites and apps to suffer outages, one on a global scale is rare.

In addition to Facebook, DownDetector had reported that T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, Google, Twitter, TikTok, Zoom, and Amazon Web Services users were experiencing outages. 

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
FB FACEBOOK, INC. 324.76 -3.77 -1.15%
TMUS T-MOBILE US, INC. 117.56 -1.70 -1.43%
VZ VERIZON COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 52.27 +0.35 +0.67%
T AT&T, INC. 25.70 +0.08 +0.31%
GOOGL ALPHABET, INC. 2,827.36 +4.34 +0.15%
TWTR TWITTER, INC. 62.77 -0.40 -0.63%
AMZN AMAZON.COM, INC. 3,409.02 +109.16 +3.31%
ZM ZOOM VIDEO COMMUNICATIONS, INC. 266.32 -0.69 -0.26%

However, representatives for Verizon, Amazon and T-Mobile confirmed to FOX Business that DownDetector's report of outages are inaccurate. 

"Users across all networks and services are being impacted by other third-party application outages," a T-Mobile spokesperson said. 

Meanwhile, Twitter confirmed that some of its users may have had issues seeing replies and direct messages, but that the issue has since been resolved. Google also said there was a "minor issue that affected a small subset of queries on Search" which has since been resolved.

AT&T, TikTok, and Zoom did not immediately return FOX Business' requests for comment.  

Fox Business' Tyler O'Neil, David Aaro, Edmund DeMarche and The Associated Press contributed to this report.