Thousands of people today are struggling to use some of their favorite social media platforms because Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are all not working.
According to Downdetector, which monitors the status of some of the most visited websites, the problems with the social media giants were reported just before 4 p.m. UK time.
Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, has apologized for the disruption, but little has been said about what caused the global outage.
There were also problems with TikTok, although the number of reports on the one billion strong platform is meager compared to the other three.
The outage means Facebook users will get an error page when accessing the social media giant of two billion users through their browser.
AFP via Getty Images)
While Instagram and WhatsApp users can access their apps but cannot see their most recently sent or received messages.
Desperate social media users have used Twitter to vent their frustration at being isolated from their social world for so long.
While the cause of the failure has yet to be confirmed, San Francisco-based Cisco company ThousandEyes said it was due to a so-called Domain Name Server (DNS) failure.
Facebook shares fell 5.5% after the default, meaning its owner Mark Zuckerberg has lost $ 7 billion in the past few hours, Bloomberg reports.
Which websites are down?
Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and TikTok are the four most popular sites that were reported to have problems on Monday afternoon.
According to Downdetector, the number of reports on WhatsApp shot up to 75,600 just before 5 p.m.
Mark Zuckerberg’s social giant Facebook lagged with a peak of 58,000 reports, while 30,800 reports came in related to Instagram.
However, according to reports, other websites appear to be malfunctioning, preventing users from accessing their services.
Below is a list of the platforms tens of thousands are grappling with this afternoon.
AFP via Getty Images)
- AT & TGoogle
- Cricket wireless
- Tick tock
- Some more
When did it happen ?
SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images)
The outage began around 4:00 p.m. UK time and has continued since then, meaning people have been unable to access some of their main communication channels for nearly four hours.
None of the social giants affected has given an estimate of how long it will take for the platforms to work again.
But WhatsApp said it will try to fix the problem “as soon as possible,” with Facebook reiterating that they are working to fix the problem “as soon as possible”.
When will they be back and what did the companies say?
So far, the social media sites have not been able to provide an estimated time to return online.
Facebook reached out to Twitter to apologize for the outage when its communications director Andy Stone said, “We are aware that some people are having problems accessing our apps and products.
“We are working to get things back to normal as soon as possible and we apologize for the inconvenience.”
WhatsApp reflected this, as stated in a tweet: “We are aware that some people are having problems with WhatsApp right now.
AFP via Getty Images)
“We are working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience!”
Instagram also reached out to Twitter to ask its communities to “join in” as they work to resolve the issue.
“Instagram and friends are having a bit of a hard time right now and you may have trouble using it. Be patient, we’re on it! #instagramdown“, It says in the tweet.
What do users say?
The users have pleaded with the various social giants to get their services back up and running as soon as possible so that they can get back to business.
An Instagram user went viral when she tweeted: “Folks, I was flirting in my DMS, please bring Instagram back.”
“Hello! It’s my birthday and I am required by law to post pictures of balloons showing my age – please hurry up! I love you,” said another.
However, there were those who were more frantic about the outage and expressed relief when they discovered that the platforms were working not just for them but for users around the world.
One said it was hacked while one joked about how they restarted their router five times only to find out if they had nothing to do with their broadband.
This was repeated by a WhatsApp lover who said he deleted and reinstalled the app several times in the hopes that it would work again.
“I almost threw my phone,” the desperate user said as he replied to WhatsApp’s statement while several others said they tried to restart their phone but to no avail.
What do the experts think happened?
None of the social media giants or websites affected has given an official reason for the outage.
According to Cisco company ThousandEyes, however, it could be due to a failure of the Domain Name Server (DNS).
DNS is usually compared to an address book that links browsers to the computer system that serves the website they are trying to access.
ThousandEyes said in a tweet that they discovered a problem just before 4 p.m.
“ThousandEyes tests can confirm that the Facebook application was no longer accessible on October 4th at 15:40 UTC due to a DNS error.
“The relevant DNS name servers from Facebook were no longer available at this point in time. The problem still exists from 17:02 UTC,” said the tweet.
Other experts attribute the failure to Facebook “pulling back” its Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes, which allow routing information to be exchanged and bring the server to the website it is trying to access.
Cybersecurity expert Kevin Beaumont wrote on Twitter: “This one looks like a pretty epic configuration bug, Facebook basically doesn’t exist on the internet right now. Even their relevant name server areas were withdrawn from BGP. “
While John Graham-Cunningham of the web security firm Cloudflare tweeted that Facebook had “disappeared” from the Internet after a series of updates.
“Between 15:50 UTC and 15:52 UTC [4.50-4.52pm UK time] Facebook and related properties have disappeared from the internet in a deluge of BGP updates, “he said.
Could it be a cyber attack?
Cyber security specialist Jake Moore said there was a “chance” the problem could be related to a cyber attack.
He said, “There have been a lot of reports and I am struggling to find out what exactly happened.
“It could well be a human error or a software bug lurking in the shadows, but whatever it is, Facebook must do its best to mitigate the problem, cause more panic about it.
“The biggest problem is fears of a cyberattack, but as we saw from Fastly this summer, I’d hedge my bets that it won’t since we’re talking about one of the biggest companies in the world, but there’s always a chance . ” . “