People who wanted to spend their lunch hour catching up with Facebook on Monday were out of luck – in fact, they were out of luck for about six hours. An excuse was offered for the outage that affected Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, but the truth is, the social media giant has just been having a hard time these past few weeks.
Blog Post Explains Away the Facebook Outage
The outage lasted more than six hours and took out three of the most popular social networks: Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. They were out from around 12:15 PM ET to about 6:30 PM ET.
“To all the people and businesses around the world who depend on us, we are sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms. We’ve been working as hard as we can to restore access, and our systems are now back up and running,” said a Facebook blog post that was published after the outage.
The blog post attempted to show users that the social media network was affected just as much as they were, noting that, “The underlying cause of this outage also impacted many of the internal tools and systems we use in our day-to-day operations, complicating our attempts to quickly diagnose and resolve the problem.”
“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt,” the post further explained.
Facebook’s Struggle the Past Few Weeks
The blog post apologized to all who were affected by the outage and said there was no malicious effort behind it, but it may not make anyone feel safer using Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. While it’s great that there was an apology, the explanation really didn’t show why it happened.
It should help Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg feel better, though. He lost more than $6 billion in those six hours. Facebook stock fell 4.9 percent, with a 15 percent drop and a $140 billion loss over the past few weeks.
This loss isn’t just due to the outage. Last month, a series of stories were published that were based on internal documents. They showed that Facebook was aware of some of the problems with its social media platforms. This includes the January 6 Capitol riot, how Instagram affects teenage girls’ mental health, and COVID-19 misinformation.
A whistleblower spoke on “60 Minutes” and also before Congress. Former product manager for Facebook’s civic misinformation team, Frances Haugen, said, “I do not believe Facebook, as currently structured, has the capability to stop vaccine misinformation.”
For all Facebook’s efforts, Haugen believes it will only remove “10 to 10 percent” of the vaccine misinformation. While millions of people were forced to do without Facebook during the outage, do they want it back after learning of her testimony?
If you’ve decided you can do without it, here’s how to delete your Facebook account or delete it for good and five of the best alternative Facebook apps.