Yesterday night, in a blog post, Facebook said the six-hour outage on apps like Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp, and OculusVR was the result of a configuration change to its routers. The company clarified that it was not due to a hack or attempt at a data breach.
Though Facebook didn’t specify anything more in detail, it seems somehow, Facebook’s machines were not able to talk to one another. In Facebook’s words, “this disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”
Yesterday evening, CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted an apology saying the platforms are going to come back online soon. He said, “Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.” The outage began around 11:40 AM ET Monday. This is Facebook’s worst outage since 2019 when the site was down for more than 24 hours.
The problems started with a routine BGP update that went wrong, wiping out the DNS routing information needed by Facebook to allow other networks to find its sites. Incidentally, Facebook’s outage came just a day before whistle-blower Frances Haugen was set to testify before Congress. Haugen was a former Facebook product manager who worked on its Civic Integrity group. She told 60 Minutes on Sunday that Facebook “pays for its profits with our safety.”