- Tram Ho
Yesterday, Facebook and its app ecosystem, including Instagram and WhatsApp, were inaccessible for hours. This has caused the important communication platform used by billions of people around the world to suddenly disappear temporarily. And what happened when this incident emerged shows that the world has become too dependent on a company that is under intense scrutiny.
Facebook apps — including Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Oculus — started showing error messages around 11:40 a.m. US time. Within minutes, Facebook disappeared from the Internet. The outage lasted for more than five hours, before some apps gradually resumed, and the company still warned that services would take time to stabilize.
Even so, the impact of this incident was far-reaching and severe. Facebook has built itself into an important platform with messaging, live streaming, virtual reality, and many other digital services. In some countries, like Myanmar and India, Facebook is even synonymous with the internet. More than 3.5 billion people around the world use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp to communicate with friends and family, distribute political messages, and expand their businesses through advertising and marketing. close to the community.
Facebook is used to sign in to many other apps and services, leading to unwanted domino effects like people not being able to log into shopping sites or log into smart TVs and connected devices. another internet connection.
In fact, outages are not uncommon in the tech industry, but it is highly unusual to have so many applications of the same largest social media company down at the same time. Facebook’s last significant outage was in 2019, when a technical fault affected Facebook’s websites for 24 hours. That said, one incident can cripple even the most powerful internet companies.
This time, the cause of the problem is still unknown. Two members of Facebook’s security team, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said it’s unlikely this was a cyber attack because an attack usually doesn’t affect too many apps at once. Security experts say the problem most likely stems from an issue with Facebook’s servers, which don’t allow people to connect to Facebook sites like Instagram and WhatsApp.
Facebook has apologized for the outage. “We’re sorry,” the company said on Twitter after its apps became accessible again. “Thank you for being with us.”
The outage added to Facebook’s mounting difficulties. For weeks, the company has come under fire over a person named Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager who churned out thousands of pages of internal research. Since then, she’s sent news media, lawmakers and regulators alike, revealing that Facebook knows much of the harm its services cause, including that Instagram makes users vulnerable. Teenage girls feel worse about themselves.
The revelations sparked a wave of outcry among regulators, lawmakers and the public. Haugen is scheduled to testify on Tuesday in Congress on Facebook’s impact on young users.
When the outage began, Facebook and Instagram users were quick to take to Twitter to lament and scoff at their inability to use the app. The hashtag #facebookdown is also starting to become mainstream. Countless memes about the incident popped up.
But a caveat comes along: Too many people worldwide rely on apps to represent their daily lives.
“With Facebook down, we lost thousands of dollars in revenue,” said Mark Donnelly, who runs HUH Clothing, a fashion brand focused on mental health. but missing four or five hours of sales cost us the opportunity to earn money to pay the electricity bill or rent for the month.”
Samir Munir, who owns a food delivery service in Delhi, said he is unable to reach customers or fulfill orders because he runs the business through his Facebook page and takes orders via WhatsApp. .
“Everything stops, my whole business stops,” he said.
“It’s hard when many people’s main source of income stops working,” said Douglas Veney, a gamer in Cleveland. Veney called the situation “scary”.
Inside Facebook, employees were also in a frenzy because their internal systems were down. According to an internal memo sent to employees and shared with The New York Times, the company’s global security team “has been notified of a system outage affecting all Facebook’s internal systems and tools”. The memo says those tools include a security system, an internal calendar, and a scheduling tool.
Employees said they had difficulty making calls from work-issued cell phones and receiving emails from people outside the company. Facebook’s internal communications platform, Workplace, was also discontinued, leaving many people unable to do their jobs. Some have turned to other platforms to communicate, including LinkedIn and Zoom as well as Discord chat rooms.
Some Facebook employees who have returned to the office are also unable to enter the buildings and conference rooms because their digital access cards have stopped working. Security engineers said they were hampered in assessing the outage because they were unable to access server areas.
Facebook’s Global Privacy Operations Center defines the outage as “HIGH Risk to People, Moderate Risk to Property, and HIGH risk to Facebook’s Reputation,” the memo said. of the company said.
According to an internal memo, a small group of employees were soon dispatched to Facebook’s Santa Clara, California data center to attempt a “manual reset” of the company’s servers.
In the early days of Facebook, the site was down from time to time as millions of new users joined. Over the years, they have spent billions of dollars building out their infrastructure and services, expanding massive data centers in cities including Prineville, Ore. and Fort Worth.
The company has also been trying to integrate the underlying technical infrastructure of Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram for several years.
John Graham-Cumming, chief technology officer of Cloudflare, a web infrastructure company, said in an interview that the problem was most likely caused by a server misconfiguration.
“It’s as if Facebook just said, ‘Goodbye, here we go’,” Graham-Cumming said.
Source : Genk