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Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp Back After Lengthy Outage, Mark Zuckerberg Says 'Sorry for Disruption'

AFP

Last Updated: October 05, 2021, 07:16 IST

Facebook battled dueling crises on Monday as it faced a large-scale outage of its dominant social network for seven hours. (Image: Reuters)

Facebook battled dueling crises on Monday as it faced a large-scale outage of its dominant social network for seven hours. (Image: Reuters)

Facebook's family of apps essentially 'disappeared' from the internet for several hours after a traffic routing problem.

Facebook along with its Instagram and WhatsApp services returned online in India on Tuesday after a massive and lengthy outage that added to the social network’s woes.

Tech giant’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg apologised for the disruption in the services. “Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about," he said.

Facebook’s family of apps essentially “disappeared" from the internet for several hours after a traffic routing problem that made the sites unreachable by users, according to Cloudflare, a website security company.

Facebook has not communicated on the possible cause of the outage, but cyber security experts noted they had found signs that online routes that lead people to the social giant were disrupted.

Facebook had “reconnected to the global internet" as of 2228 GMT but it was expected to take a bit of time to get the social network’s family of services back running smoothly, web security company Cloudflare said in a blog post.

“Facebook and related properties disappeared from the Internet in a flurry of BGP updates," tweeted John Graham-Cumming, the chief technology officer at Cloudflare.

During the outage, Mike Schroepfer, the company’s chief technology officer, tweeted his “Sincere apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now."

Users trying to access Facebook in affected areas during the outage were greeted with the message: “Something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can."

‘Make Body Dissatisfaction Worse’

Facebook has pushed back hard against the outrage regarding its practices and impact, but this is just the latest crisis to hit the business.

US lawmakers for years have threatened to regulate Facebook and other social media giants to address criticisms that the platforms trample on privacy, provide a megaphone for dangerous misinformation and damage young people’s well-being.

After years of criticism directed at social media, without major legislative overhauls, some experts were skeptical that change was coming.

“This is a situation where there’s going to be a lot of smoke, and a lot of fury, but not a lot of action," said Mark Hass, an Arizona State University professor

“It’s going to have to come down to the platforms, feeling pressure from their users feeling pressure from their employees," he added, noting authorities won’t effectively be able to regulate content.

Haugen, a 37-year-old data scientist from Iowa, has worked for companies including Google and Pinterest — but said in an interview with CBS news show “60 Minutes" that Facebook was “substantially worse" than anything she had seen before.

Facebook’s vice president of policy and global affairs Nick Clegg vehemently pushed back at the assertion its platforms are “toxic" for teens, days after a tense, hours-long congressional hearing in which US lawmakers grilled the company over its impact on the mental health of young users.

Senators put the social media giant’s Antigone Davis through the wringer last week over damning reports that Facebook’s own research warned of potential harm.

Davis told lawmakers that a survey of teens on 12 serious issues like anxiety, sadness and eating disorders showed that Instagram was generally helpful to them.

Yet, Senator Richard Blumenthal read aloud excerpts from company documents he said were leaked to lawmakers by a Facebook whistleblower that directly contradicted her.

“Substantial evidence suggests that experiences on Instagram and Facebook make body dissatisfaction worse," he said, adding the finding was not a disgruntled worker’s complaint but company research.

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first published:October 05, 2021, 06:56 IST
last updated:October 05, 2021, 07:16 IST