Millions of users of popular social media platforms: Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger were thrown into shock and financial loss as a result of the platforms that went down worldwide on Monday evening for several hours.
Nigerians are among the massive users of the platforms and were seriously affected as many business transactions were truncated while many could be initiated at all. The multiplier effect of the platforms could be not easily ascertained as at the time of filling this report but it will run into several billions of dollars because e commerce were grossly affected throughout the period. Other African Countries were not left out of the ugly incident.
Outage tracking site Down Detector logged tens of thousands of reports for each of the services. Facebook’s own site would not load at all for about an hour on Monday; Instagram and WhatsApp were accessible, but could not load new content or send messages.
The outage affected every Facebook owned platform, according to data on Downdetector and Twitter. This includes Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. The outages appear to have started around 11:40 am ET/8:40 am PT and all of those services remain inaccessible.
The outages quickly started trending on Twitter as users flocked to the competing social network to check to see if other users were affected by the down time. Humorously, the hashtag “#DeleteFacebook” is also trending on Twitter as the company battles continued pushback against the effects its platforms have on younger users.
According to the New York Times report, “Facebook has already been dealing with plenty of scrutiny. The company has been under fire from a whistle-blower, Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who amassed thousands of pages of internal research and has since distributed them to the news media, lawmakers and regulators. The documents revealed that Facebook knew of much harm that its services were causing.”
While some Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp outages only affect certain geographic regions, the services are down worldwide today. This includes the United States, the UK, Brazil, Kuwait, and more.
The outage also affected platforms and services that use Facebook login. Niantic, creator of Pokémon GO, says that it is “looking into reports of errors associated with Facebook login, and will update here once we have more information.” Other services that also use Facebook login are believed to be affected, as well as Oculus.
Cybercrime reporter Brian Krebs who attributed the problem to a major DNS problem posted: “Facebook and its sister properties Instagram and WhatsApp are suffering from ongoing, global outages. We don’t yet know why this happened, but the how is clear: Earlier this morning, something inside Facebook caused the company to revoke key digital records that tell computers and other Internet-enabled devices how to find these destinations online.
In simpler terms, sometime this morning Facebook took away the map telling the world’s computers how to find its various online properties. As a result, when one types Facebook.com into a web browser, the browser has no idea where to find Facebook.com, and so returns an error page.
In a statement, WhatsApp acknowledges that its service was down: ”We’re aware that some people are experiencing issues with WhatsApp at the moment. We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible.”
Facebook’s Andy Stone also stated: ”We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Facebook’s internal Workplace site and associated services for employees are also suffered from an outage today, according to Jane Manchun Wong. The company has distributed a memo to employees about the issues. Employees are referring to this as a “snow day,” including Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri.
The New York Times report says that virtually everything inside Facebook is broken, including the ability to use keycards for entering buildings, security systems, an internal calendar and scheduling tools, and more. The Verge reports that Facebook employees have turned to platforms like Discord and FaceTime for communication.