Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp suffer extended global outage

·3-min read

Millions of people across the world are having issues with Facebook and the company's other popular apps as the social media giant is hit by a massive global outage. 

Facebook has not directly said what has caused the outage across Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp but people across the globe have been unable to access the platforms on Tuesday morning.

On Twitter, Facebook has acknowledged the outage, saying it was aware of the problem.

"We’re aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products," the company tweeted.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are currently down. Source: AP
Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are currently down. Source: AP

"We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologise for any inconvenience."

Downdector, which tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform, shows that at around 3am on Tuesday there were over 120,000 reports of Facebook being down.

Four hours later, the company's services remain offline.

Doug Madory, Director of Internet Analysis at network traffic intelligence firm Kentik, told ABC radio the issue is a “total global outage for any service of Facebook”.

“The fact we’re sitting here four hours later shows that this is a catastrophic outage," he said

While Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all took to Twitter to confirm the problems, Twitter poked fun at the ordeal.

"Hello literally everyone," Twitter tweeted.

Theories on what caused Facebook outage

Security experts tracking the situation said the outage could have been triggered by a configuration error, which could be the result of an internal mistake, Reuters reported.

Although sabotage by an insider would be theoretically possible.

An outside hack was viewed as less likely.

While the cause of the outage remains unclear, the error message on the webpage of Facebook Inc suggested a problem with Domain Name System (DNS).

DNS allows web addresses to take users to their destinations.

The outage comes a day after a Facebook whistleblower made some bombshell claims about the company.

Former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen accused the social media giant of repeatedly prioritising profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation.

Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen talks with CBS' Scott Pelley on
Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen talks with CBS' Scott Pelley on "60 Minutes," in an episode that aired Sunday, October 3, 2021. Source: CBS News/60 Minutes via AP)

"The thing I saw at Facebook over and over again was there were conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook," Ms Haugen told 60 Minutes.

She also said Facebook prematurely turned off safeguards designed to thwart misinformation and rabble rousing after Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in last year's elections.

Ms Haugen alleged turning off the safeguards contributed to the deadly January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.

UPDATE: At around 10am AEDT, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp started to come back online.

"To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we're sorry," Facebook said on Twitter. 

"We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now. Thank you for bearing with us."

The disruption lasted for around six hours.

With Reuters and Associated Press

Do you have a story tip? Email: newsroomau@yahoonews.com.

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting