Facebook explains reason behind biggest-ever outage

Posted March 15, 2019

Facebook blamed a "server configuration change" Thursday for a massive outage affecting its applications around the world and brought fresh attention to the embattled social networking leader. "We've now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering", the company said in a tweet. Users in Asia were having problems on Thursday morning.

The platform experienced one of its greatest outage in history Wednesday when users on the east and west coast and the southeast, as well as Europe, reported issues with uploading photos or posts or the inability to log into the site at all.

"We're very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone's patience", Facebook said. Facebook did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The interruption, which also extended to Facebook-owned services like Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, is believed to be the biggest ever suffered by the social media giant.

Thousands of users took to Twitter over the past day to complain about the outage, causing the hashtag #facebookdown to trend.

Facebook first publicly addressed the issue Wednesday afternoon, acknowledging in a tweet that "some people are now having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps".

While the outage continued, The New York Times reported that USA prosecutors had launched a criminal investigation into the social network's practice of sharing users' data with companies without letting them know.

No cause has been given but Facebook said it wasn't a distributed denial of service or cyberattack. Their outage map for Facebook showed a surge in reports in the Northeast from Washington, D.C. through NY, though a cursory search of the Twitter free-for-all on the topic indicates the reach is well beyond the greater metropolitan areas.

The news comes with regulators, investigators and elected officials in the United States and elsewhere in the world digging into the data sharing practices of Facebook.