Facebook reveals what caused six-hour outage hitting Whatsapp and Instagram services

Router configuration changes affected tools and systems employees used in day-to-day operations

Vishwam Sankaran
Tuesday 05 October 2021 08:07 BST
Whatsapp Instagram And Facebook Down For Hours In Global Outage Original Video M201348
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Facebook revealed in an official blog post on Monday evening that the six-hour outage across its platforms including Instagram, Messenger, Whatsapp, and OculusVR were caused by configuration changes to its routers.

The company said these changes disrupted network traffic between the company’s data centres. However, it said it has no evidence yet that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.

“This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centres communicate, bringing our services to a halt,” the company noted.

It said the router configuration changes also impacted many of the internal tools and systems employees used in day-to-day operations, complicating their attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem.

“Sorry for the disruption today -- I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about,” Facebook chief Mark Zuckerburg wrote on the platform after it came back online.

When Facebook came back online, some users reported that they were seeing “login error code two”, which the company uses to alert them to connection errors.

Instagram users also reported that some feeds failed to load and WhatsApp too experienced some connection issues. These problems are expected to be smoothed out over the next few hours.

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Even though the current outage lasted only six hours – relatively short compared to one in 2019 which last over a day – the downtime likely affected large numbers of businesses which rely on Facebook and its tools.

The social media platform’s turnover last year equated to roughly $10m an hour.

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Following Monday’s outage, Facebook’s stocks were down nearly 5 per cent, and compared to mid-September values, it dropped by about 15 per cent.

These numbers also affected Zuckerberg’s net worth, which according to Bloomberg, ended the day at $121.6bn, losing $6bn in the hours following the crash.

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