Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp restore services after outage

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Major Facebook applications suffered a widespread outage for at least six hours on Monday, cutting off access for people around the world to some of the internet’s most used services.

The worst disruption to hit the social networking company in more than two years sparked a wave of criticism online, and came as Facebook was already facing a backlash over claims from a whistleblower that the company had deliberately turning a blind eye to the spread of disinformation and other negative effects of its network.

Frances Haugen, a product manager who left the company earlier this year, was scheduled to testify at a Senate hearing on Tuesday. She plans to urge lawmakers to regulate the social media group more tightly, comparing it to tobacco companies that hid the dangers of smoking, opioid manufacturers and automakers before seat belts became mandatory, according to written remarks.

Facebook’s network problems suddenly started around 11:30 a.m. on the east coast of the United States, when users discovered that they could not view or post to the main Facebook and Instagram apps, send messages through the services. Messenger and WhatsApp, or access the virtual’s website. Oculus reality service.

“It was as if someone had ‘pulled the cables’ out of their data centers all at once and disconnected them from the internet,” internet infrastructure company Cloudflare said in a blog post later. during the day.

Facebook then apologized for what it said was a “faulty configuration change” on its network, which interrupted traffic between its data centers and caused a “cascading effect”, shutting down services.

The disruption has also affected “the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations, complicating our attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem,” said Santosh Janardhan, vice president of infrastructure.

Facebook shares closed 4.9% lower on Monday, bringing last month’s total decline to 15%.

The company’s shares have also come under pressure over fears that changes to Apple’s privacy rules will limit the data it can collect for advertising purposes. Wall Street is also increasingly concerned about the threat of regulation.

Cyber ​​security experts said the failure appeared to have been caused by a problem in DNS, the global directory that matches Internet addresses entered by users with the domains they are trying to access – a central part of the system. online traffic routing.

Some users trying to access various company websites have received a “5xx server error” warning, a standard message returned to Internet users when a server is unable to perform the requested task.

Jack Dorsey, chief executive of Twitter, joined the social media stack against Facebook as the blackout continued. In response to a tweet from whistleblower Edward Snowden, who took advantage of the blackout to advise people to switch to Signal messaging service, Dorsey said on twitter: “The signal is WhatsUp”.

Criticism of the company is expected to resume on Tuesday, with Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, set to make her first appearance on Capitol Hill.

“When we realized the tobacco companies were hiding the damage they were causing, the government took action,” she said in written remarks released ahead of the hearing.

She added: “When we realized that cars were safer with seat belts, the government took action. And today the government is taking action against companies that have hidden evidence on opioids. I implore you to do the same here.

Daily Bulletin

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