Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram back after blackout

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After an outage that lasted almost six hours, social media services including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram are back up and operating.

According to Facebook, the cause was a faulty configuration change.

All three services are owned by Facebook and could not be accessed over the web or on smartphone apps.

Downdetector, which tracks outages, said it was the largest failure it had ever seen, with 10.6 million problem reports around the world.

At about 04:00pm local time, the services shut down with users starting to gain access to the sites again at around 10:00pm local time.

According to a statement by Facebook on Tuesday, the faulty configuration change affected the company’s internal tools and systems which complicated attempts to settle the situation.

There was “no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime”, the statement added.

Nexus News learned that prior to this, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg apologised to those affected by the outage.

Furthermore, many people reported problems using Facebook’s virtual reality headset platform, Oculus, and apps which require Facebook logins were affected, including Pok√©mon Go.

A blackout of this scale for such a long time is unusual. A disruption in 2019 left Facebook and its other apps mostly inaccessible across the world for more than 14 hours.

Various other tech companies, including Reddit and Twitter, poked fun at the social media giant’s predicament – invoking reactions from the affected apps.

The outage comes the day after an interview with a former Facebook employee who leaked documents about the company.

Frances Haugen told CBS news on Sunday that the company had prioritised “growth over safety”.

BBC reports that Haugen will testify on Tuesday before a Senate subcommittee in a hearing titled “Protecting Kids Online”, about the company’s research into Instagram’s effect on the mental health of young users.

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