WhatsApp, Facebook & Instagram all Go Down Simultaneously, But What Caused the Worldwide Outage?

As millions of users across the globe vent their frustrations about WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram being offline, it is still unclear what caused the outage. 

WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook went down at the same time on Monday, taking out a vital communications platform used by more than three billion people around the world.

Users were unable to send or receive messages, updates their pages or post any content on Facebook and its family of apps. 

The New York Times reports that Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Oculus — began displaying error messages around 11:40 a.m. Eastern time and within five minutes, Facebook had disappeared from the internet.

The paper reports that several hours into the incident, Facebook’s security experts were still trying to identify the root issue, according to an internal memo and employees briefed on the matter.

“Security experts said the problem most likely stemmed instead from a misconfiguration of Facebook’s server computers, which were not letting people connect to its sites like Instagram and WhatsApp. When such errors occur, companies frequently roll back to their previous configuration, but Facebook’s problems appeared to be more complex and to require some manual updating.” 

According to the New York Times report, Facebook workers also scrambled because their internal systems also stopped functioning. 

“The company’s global security team “was notified of a system outage affecting all Facebook internal systems and tools,” according to an internal memo sent to employees. Those tools included security systems, an internal calendar and scheduling tools, the memo said.” 

Several Facebook workers called the outage the equivalent of a “snow day,” a sentiment that was publicly echoed by Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram.

Earlier Bloomberg reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s personal wealth had fallen by nearly $7 billion in a few hours, knocking him down a notch on the list of the world’s richest people

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