Facebook finally ends daylong outage, blames server change

Posted March 15, 2019

Many Instagram profiles refused to load, Facebook users were faced with empty newsfeeds, and issues sending messages through Facebook's Messenger app, as did WhatsApp users.

Facebook's shares fell almost two per cent in morning trading on Thursday.

Some of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp's more than 2 billion users were unable to access the online services from Wednesday until Thursday afternoon as the social network and its sister apps suffered a prolonged outage. "We've now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering".

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On Twitter, Facebook blamed the outage on a "server configuration change". "We're very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone's patience". The interruption also affected gameplay for owners of Oculus VR headsets, a company that Facebook bought in 2014.

Yesterday, there were many reports of people being unable to access certain apps across the social media platforms.

Facebook also said that the crash was not due to a DDoS attack - in which hackers overwhelm a website's servers with fake traffic and cause it to crash. Facebook said it was working to resolve the issue but didn't announce the fix until Thursday.

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Thousands of users took to Twitter over the past day to complain about the outage, causing the hashtag #facebookdown to trend.

Separately, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that USA federal prosecutors were conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with more than 150 technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.

The outages started around midday Wednesday, hitting users for more than 24 hours and surpassing the tech giant's last comparable outage in 2008.

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The news comes with regulators, investigators and elected officials in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world digging into the data sharing practices of Facebook.