Published: Fri, March 15, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Facebook, Instagram down Wednesday: Facebook blames server configuration for longest-ever outage

Facebook, Instagram down Wednesday: Facebook blames server configuration for longest-ever outage

Facebook blamed a "server configuration change" Thursday for the platform's longest-ever outage, which also affected Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp users worldwide. Facebook said the issue had been resolved and that it's systems were recovering.

After acknowledging the problem Wednesday, Facebook remained mum on the issue for almost 24 hours before issuing an explanation and apology around 1630 GMT Thursday. "We're very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone's patience".

The company also quickly dismissed concerns that the outage was the result of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. Facebook notified users and by Thursday morning, the issue appeared to be largely resolved, as the official Instagram account on Twitter said, "Anddddd. we're back". Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The outage prompted exasperation from business owners and individuals who rely on Facebook's platforms to communicate, and inspired a flood of derision on Twitter, where some users migrated to stay connected.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. What happened?
Facebook Apologizes for Outages, Says It Has Resolved ‘Server Configuration’ Error That Led to Access Problems

While the outage continued, The New York Times reported that U.S. prosecutors had launched a criminal investigation into the social network's practice of sharing users' data with companies without letting them know. In any case, a contact within Telegram confirmed to TechCrunch's colleagues what was already quite obvious: the merit of this sudden growth is the aforementioned problems ("These outages always drive new users"), but is partly attributed to the will of a growing number of users to distance themselves from Facebook. Amazon was reportedly allowed to see user contact information.

Millions of users were affected, and thousands took to Twitter on Wednesday and Thursday to complain under the hashtag #facebookdown. The federal investigation is the latest bad news coming from the company's data privacy scandals.

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