Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp all went down since midday Monday, ET. On Twitter, Facebook stated that they are aware that some people are having trouble accessing their apps and products, and they are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible. They also apologized for any inconvenience that this outage may have caused.
Facebook’s site would not load at all for about an hour on Monday, meanwhile Instagram and WhatsApp were accessible, but could not load new content or send messages, as reported on CNN. However, the reason for the outage was not clear. Several security experts pointed to a Domain Name System (DNS) problem as a possible main cause.
An outage like this is almost unheard of from a major internet firm. Doug Madory, director of internet analysis at network monitoring firm Kentik told CNN that firms sometimes lose internet connectivity when they update their network configurations. But considering a company of Facebook’s size and resources has been offline for over three hours suggests that it would take longer than normal to fix the issue.
However, speculations flying around the internet, suggesting that this outage is not just any ordinary DNS problem. On Twitter, an account with the username @chadloder shared a thread that shows the Facebook domain name is even available for sale.
The outage was reported to come the morning after 60 Minutes aired a segment where Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen made a claim about the company.
Haugen claimed that the company is aware of how its platforms are used to spread hate, violence, as well as misinformation, and that it has tried to hide that evidence. She previously also released thousands of pages of internal research and documents to regulators and the Wall Street Journal.
However, Facebook has pushed back on those claims, and Haugen is set to testify before a Senate subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security on Tuesday.
Mike Schroepfer, the Facebook CTO tweeted after more than four hours since the outage started, explaining that the company was experiencing networking issues and their teams were working as fast as possible to debug and restore the apps.
Just after 6:30 pm ET, Facebook posted another tweet saying that its apps and services were beginning to work again. When the Facebook services began to come back online, the CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page, announcing the platforms were coming back online, as well as apologizing for the disruptions that happened earlier that day.