‘Down again’: second outage on Facebook in a week | Social Media News

Company executive blames second outage on “configuration changes” as users express frustration.

Facebook has admitted that its users around the world again had problems accessing its services for hours due to a change in its system, just days after a similarly caused massive outage.

“Sincere apologies to anyone who has not been able to access our products in the past two hours,” a Facebook spokesperson told AFP news agency at around 21:30 GMT on Friday.

“We fixed the issue, and everything should be back to normal now.”

Website issues tracker DownDetector showed spikes in reports of problems accessing or using Facebook and its photo-centric Instagram network, as well as Messenger and WhatsApp starting around three hours earlier.

Facebook attributed the issue to a configuration change in its IT platform and said it affected users of the social network and Instagram, Messenger and Workplace around the world.

People have taken to Twitter to express their frustration.

“What’s up with Instagram?” read a tweet that included a photo of cartoon character Bart Simpson sitting in the corner as apparent punishment.

“It’s not even 4 days and it’s already gone down.”

“Problems with Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp AGAIN!” read a complaint in a DownDetector discussion forum.

Another user posted on Twitter: “Looks like Facebook has gone to a 3 day work week. Stops on Monday and Friday? »

Hundreds of millions of people were unable to access Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp for more than six hours on Monday, underscoring the world’s reliance on platforms owned by the Silicon Valley giant.

The two outages have ratcheted up pressure on Facebook this week after a former employee-turned-whistleblower on Sunday accused the company of repeatedly prioritizing profit over cracking down on hate speech and misinformation.

“Configuration Changes”

In an apologetic blog post, Santosh Janardhan, Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure, said the second outage was caused by “configuration changes” on routers that coordinate network traffic between data centers.

Experts said Monday’s problem boiled down to something called BGP, or Border Gateway Protocol – the system the internet uses to choose the fastest route to move packets of information.

Sami Slim of data center company Telehouse said BGP was like “the internet equivalent of air traffic control”.

In the same way that air traffic controllers sometimes change flight schedules, “Facebook has updated these routes,” Slim said.

But this update contained a crucial error.

Monday and Friday’s outages have ratcheted up pressure on Facebook this week after a former employee-turned-whistleblower on Sunday accused the company of prioritizing profit over cracking down on hate speech and misinformation . [File: Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty via AFP]

It’s not yet known how or why, but Facebook’s routers essentially sent a message to the internet that the company’s servers no longer existed.

Friday’s outage was unrelated to the outage earlier this week, according to Facebook.

Experts said Facebook’s technical infrastructure was exceptionally dependent on its own systems.

Social media outages aren’t uncommon: Instagram alone has seen more than 80 in the past year in the United States, according to website builder ToolTester.

Facebook’s services are crucial for many businesses around the world, and Facebook accounts are also commonly used to log in to other websites.

Facebook’s apps are used by billions of people each month, which means outages can affect a large portion of the world’s population.