Facebook in the dark for five long hours


Major social media network company Facebook and its family of apps-Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus-were rendered inaccessible for hours starting around 11 P.M. Monday to 4 A.M. Tuesday (Philippine Standard Time).


MANILA — Used by billions—disappearing for five long hours from the internet before some apps got back to life—its far-reaching impact for ‘not being there in the internet’ has been felt.

Those who relied on the platform and its other apps have complained of losing in sales and operations heavily-dependent on the apps in this pandemic, especially food delivery services.

The outage of the platform, used to sign in to many other apps and services, has caused unexpected domino effects where people could not log in to sign in to usual tasks as shopping online to as far as being disconnected from internet-connected devices.

The platform has 3.5 billion users around the world, 60 percent of all those connected to the world wide web.

Although outages are not uncommon, having so many apps go dark from Facebook at the same time was unusual. Its last significant outage was in 2019, when a 24-hour technical error affected its sites.

The problem could most likely had stemmed from Facebook’s server computers, which block people to connect to its sites like Instagram and WhatsApp. A team was able to restore service at the data center in Santa Clara, California and then did a manual reset on the system.

The company twitted an apology after its apps became accessible again. “Thank you for bearing with us,” it added.

The company has been under fire for weeks, after whistle-blower Frances Haugen, a former product manager who had amassed thousands of pages of internal research released evidence against Facebook to the news media, lawmakers, and regulators. She revealed that Facebook is aware of the many harmful impacts its services were causing, including that of Instagram’s harming teenage girls.

However, the cause of the outage remains unclear. Facebook engineers and security team, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, admit it was unlikely that a cyberattack could be the cause as a hack generally does not affect so many apps at the same time. (RA/Headline PH)


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