Facebook said the outage, which lasted nearly six hours, was caused by a “faulty configuration modification.”

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It was a “faulty configuration change” that caused a nearly six-hour outage on Monday, which prevented the company’s 3.5 billion users from accessing the company’s social media and messaging services such as WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. The outage was caused by a “faulty configuration change,” according to Facebook.

In a late Monday blog post, the business did not specify who was responsible for the configuration modification or whether it was a planned move.

Reuters reported earlier that many Facebook employees, who asked not to be identified, said they suspected the outage was caused by an internal mistake in the way internet traffic is routed to the company’s computers.

read: Facebook requests that a judge dismiss a lawsuit seeking to force the sale of Instagram and WhatsApp.

According to the staff, the failures of internal communication tools and other that rely on the same network in order to function compounded the problem. Security experts have speculated that either an unintended mistake or sabotage by an insider might have occurred.

“At this time, we want to be clear that we believe the fundamental cause of this outage was an erroneous configuration update,” Facebook stated on blog.

According to site monitoring organisation Downdetector, the Facebook outage is the largest it has ever seen.

The outage was the second setback for the social media behemoth in as many days, following a whistleblower’s accusation on Sunday that the firm has consistently prioritised profit over the suppression of hate speech and disinformation on platform.

As users fled to competing apps such as Twitter and TikTok, Facebook’s stock plunged 4.9 percent on Monday, the company’s largest daily drop since November, as part of a broader selloff in technology equities. Following the reinstatement of service, shares of the company surged by nearly half a percent in after-hours trading.

We apologise to every little and large business, family, and individual that relies on us, Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer wrote on Twitter, adding that it “may take some time to get back up and running at full strength.”

Twitter user Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, wrote: “Facebook has effectively locked keys inside its automobile.”

On Monday, Twitter reported higher-than-usual usage, which resulted in some challenges with people being able to see tweets and private messages.

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A meme from Netflix’s new hit show “Squid Game” with the caption “When Instagram and Facebook are down” went viral on Twitter. The meme showed a character labelled “Twitter” holding up another character on the verge of falling labelled “everyone,” which was a reference to the hashtag #WhenInstagramandFacebookaredown.

When one member of a Facebook group for ad buyers received the response that “plenty of people searched today for ‘how to run google advertising for customers,'” he wisecracked, and the rest of the group laughed.

According to estimates from ad measurement firm Standard Media Index, Facebook, which is the world’s second-largest seller of online advertisements after Google, was losing approximately $545,000 in U.S. ad income every hour during the outage.

Downtime for internet companies in the past, on the other hand, has had little impact on their long-term revenue growth.

It was 12:00 Eastern time when Facebook’s services, which included consumer applications such as Instagram, workplace solutions it sells to businesses, and internal programmes, went dark (1600 GMT). Access began to re-open about 5:45 p.m. Eastern Time.

Soon after the outage began, Facebook stated that users were experiencing difficulties accessing apps, but did not disclose any information regarding the nature of the problem or the number of users who had been affected.

The error notice on Facebook’s website suggested that there was a problem with the Domain Name System (DNS), which is responsible for directing users to their desired destinations when they type in web addresses. In July, a similar outage at cloud computing provider Akamai Technologies Inc (AKAM.O) brought a number of websites.

Frances Haugen, who worked as a product manager on the civic misinformation team at Facebook, revealed on Sunday that she was the whistleblower who provided documents that were used in a recent Wall Street Journal investigation and a recent U.S. Senate hearing on Instagram’s harm to teen girls. Haugen previously worked as a product manager on the civic misinformation team at Facebook.

According to prepared testimony seen by Reuters, Haugen was scheduled to testify before the same Senate panel on Tuesday, urging the committee to regulate the corporation, which she wants to compare to cigarette companies that for decades denied that smoking was harmful to health.

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