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Facebook Explains What Caused Yesterday’s Outage for Instagram, WhatsApp and More

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The world was a quieter (and more relaxing) place yesterday, as Facebook saw outages to its entire network and suite of apps, including the likes of Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The outage lasted nearly an entire workday on Monday, seemingly shifting the attention away from a whistleblower’s interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes from the day prior.

Now, Facebook has provided an update to share what caused the massive outage yesterday.

According to Santosh Janardhan VP, Engineering and Infrastructure, at Facebook, an updated company post on Tuesday detailed, “our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”

Many speculated hackers might have been involved in taking down Facebook. But the company denies any evidence of this.

“Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear that there was no malicious activity behind this outage — its root cause was a faulty configuration change on our end. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime,” said Facebook.

The Facebook downtime resulted in alternative messaging apps, such as Signal, generating millions of new users.

“To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms,” explained Janardhan.

“We’ve been working as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are now back up and running. The underlying cause of this outage also impacted many of the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations, complicating our attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem,” said the Facebook VP.

At 3:54pm PDT on Monday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced, “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now. Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.”

“We apologize to all those affected, and we’re working to understand more about what happened today so we can continue to make our infrastructure more resilient,” concluded Facebook.

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