In this photo illustration, the Facebook logo is displayed next to a screen showing that Facbook service is down on October 04, 2021 in San Anselmo, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images
More than five hours after users began reporting a major outage across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp on Monday, the cause has still not been disclosed.
All three platforms stopped working shortly before noon ET, when the websites and apps for Facebook’s services were responding with server errors. Reports on DownDetector.com showed the outages appear to be widespread, but it’s unclear how many users were unable to access the apps.
It marks the worst outage for the technology giant since 2008, when a bug knocked Facebook offline for about a day, affecting about 80 million users. The platform currently boasts 3 billion users.
Mike Schroepfer, Facebook’s chief technology officer, apologized in a statement posted to Twitter.
“Sincere apologies to everyone impacted by outages of Facebook powered services right now,” Schroepfer wrote. “We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore as fast as possible.”
In 2019, a similar outage lasted about an hour. Facebook blamed a server configuration change for that outage.
Major websites can also sometimes go down if content delivery networks, or CDNs, go offline. That happened in June, when one such CDN, Fastly, was down due to technical issues. That caused major websites including Amazon, Reddit and The New York Times to go down.
“We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” a spokesperson said. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
The outage comes one day after the whistleblower who leaked private internal research to both The Wall Street Journal and U.S. Congress revealed herself ahead of an interview with “60 Minutes.” The documents, first reported in a series of Journal stories, revealed that the company’s executives understood the negative impacts of Instagram among younger users and that Facebook’s algorithm enabled the spread of misinformation, among other things.
Facebook shares closed down almost 5% on the day.
This news is developing. Please check back for updates.