Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are back after a worldwide outage that lasted around six hours.
Users of the sites were unable to access both the mobile and web browser editions of the social media sites owned by Facebook.
Some users have been able to access the sites again. Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said in a post this morning that Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp are coming back.
“Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with people you care about,” he said.
During the outage, Facebook also issued a statement through Twitter where they said they were trying to get things back to normal.
Later they updated this statement saying that some services were coming back online.
To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we're sorry. We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now. Thank you for bearing with us.
— Facebook (@Facebook) October 4, 2021
Both WhatsApp and Instagram have made similar apologies on their Twitter accounts after the outage.
Apologies to everyone who hasn’t been able to use WhatsApp today. We’re starting to slowly and carefully get WhatsApp working again.
Thank you so much for your patience. We will continue to keep you updated when we have more information to share.
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) October 4, 2021
Instagram is slowly but surely coming back now – thanks for dealing with us and sorry for the wait! https://t.co/O6II13DrMy
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) October 4, 2021
People reported Facebook not loading at all and while Instagram and Whatsapp were accessible, users reported not being able to load new content or send messages.
The company has yet to say what caused the outage this morning however, multiple security experts pointed to a Domain Name System (DNS) problem as a possible source.
DNS is often referred to as the internet’s address book where it translates domain names to IP addresses so that browsers can load Internet resources.
Technology expert Trevor Long told Channel Nine’s Today show that he thinks the attack was a technical error.
Sometimes more people than usual use Twitter. We prepare for these moments, but today things didn’t go exactly as planned. Some of you may have had an issue seeing replies and DMs as a result. This has been fixed. Sorry about that! 💙
— Twitter Support (@TwitterSupport) October 4, 2021
The shut down of the services owned by Facebook comes shortly after a whistleblower who was the source for a series of The Wall Street Journal Stories exposing the company for their internal awareness of research into its products went public on 60 Minutes in the US on Sunday.
Frances Haugen was identified as the whistleblower and claimed to CBS News that Facebook could do more to protect its users from hate speech and misinformation but prioritises profits over its users. She also claimed that Instagram specifically was harmful to the mental health of teenage girls.
Lena Pietsch, Facebook’s director of policy communications, has since responded to the 60 Minutes report with statements on behalf of the social media company.
“We’ve invested heavily in people and technology to keep our platform safe, and have made fighting misinformation and providing authoritative information a priority. If any research had identified an exact solution to these complex challenges, the tech industry, governments, and society would have solved them a long time ago,” she said.
Photo: @solenfeyissa Facebook By Solen Feyissa available HERE and used under a Creative Commons Attribution. The image has not been modified.