October 19, 2021

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Users react as Facebook grapples with another global outage – SPOTLITER NEWS

Facebook on Friday said that users around the world have again been having trouble accessing its services for hours due to a tweak to its system, just days after a massive outage similarly caused.

“We sincerely apologize to anyone who has not been able to access our products in the past two hours,” a Facebook spokesperson told AFP at around 21:30 GMT.

“We have solved the problem and now everything should be back to normal.”

The DownDetector website issue tracker showed spikes in reports of problems logging in or using Facebook and its photo-centric Instagram network, as well as Messenger and WhatsApp, starting about three hours earlier.

Facebook attributed the problem to a change in the configuration of its computing platform and said it affected users of the social network and Instagram, Messenger and Workplace globally.

People have flocked to Twitter to express their frustration.

“What’s up with Instagram?” read a tweet that included a photo of cartoon character Bart Simpson sitting in a corner in apparent punishment.

“It’s not even been 4 days and he’s already down again.”

“Problems with Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp AGAIN!” read a lament in a DownDetector chat forum.

Hundreds of millions of people were unable to access Facebook, Instagram or WhatsApp for more than six hours on Monday, underscoring the world’s reliance on the platforms owned by the Silicon Valley giant.

In an apologetic blog post, Santosh Janardhan, Facebook’s vice president of infrastructure, said the outage that day was caused by “configuration changes” on the routers that coordinate network traffic between data centers.

Computer experts think the problem has boiled down to something called BGP, or Border Gateway Protocol, the system the Internet uses to choose the fastest path to move packets of information.

Sami Slim of data center company Telehouse compared BGP to “the Internet equivalent of air traffic control.”

In the same way that air traffic controllers sometimes make changes to flight schedules, “Facebook has updated these routes,” Slim said.

But this update contained a crucial error.

It’s still unclear how or why, but Facebook’s routers essentially sent a message to the internet announcing that the company’s servers no longer existed.

Friday’s outage was unrelated to the one earlier in the week, according to Facebook.

Experts say Facebook’s technical infrastructure is unusually dependent on its own systems.

Social media outages aren’t uncommon – Instagram alone has experienced more than 80 in the past year in the US, according to website builder ToolTester.

Facebook services are essential for many businesses around the world, and Facebook accounts are also commonly used to log into other websites.

Facebook apps are used by billions of people monthly, which means outages can affect much of the world’s population.

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