Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has apologized for the massive disruption that left more than 3.5 billion social media users worldwide cut off not only from Facebook, but also Instagram, Messenger and Whatsapp for six hours. The failure occurred around 4:00 p.m. GMT, and the failure was not fixed until around 8:00 p.m.
The New York Times reported that the problem was resolved after engineers restarted servers in a data center in California, but the company did not confirm this information.
Instead, Facebook said it is working to get to the bottom of what happened and make its infrastructure more reliable.
According to the company, there is no indication that user data has been compromised.
The exact reasons for the failure are not reported, but some experts suggest that it could be a malfunction in the DNS servers that Facebook uses. DNS servers are sometimes compared to the Internet address book; they direct browsers and applications to servers that contain the information they need.
New York Times reporter Ryan Mack wrote on Twitter that not only were Facebook's services down, but also its internal communications platforms.
"No one can work. Several people I've talked to say it's like "snow day." [i.e., when none of the employees can get to the office because of the heavy snowfall]," the reporter writes.
According to the New York Times, which cited unnamed Facebook employees, the failure was unlikely due to a cyberattack. "This is because the technology on which mobile apps run is different [from that used for web versions]. Therefore, a single hack is unlikely to affect all platforms at once," the publication said.
Competing social networks have begun to ironically address Facebook's problems. "Hi pretty much everyone!" tweeted its official account. "Hi! Have a good Monday," Instagram responded, accompanying the post with a concerned face emoji.
Facebook shares plummet
Facebook shares lost 4.89% of their value on Monday compared to the previous day, which is attributed to the Facebook outage as well as the scandalous confession of former employee Frances Haugen that the desire to make money for the network was much more important than fighting misinformation.
According to Bloomberg, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg lost about $6 billion in just a few hours as the company's stock price fell.
This year, problems with DNS servers have already led to the mass shutdown of several Internet sites. In one case, it emerged that the outage was caused by a client of a major cloud storage provider changing its settings, causing a programming error that affected a huge number of sites.
"Facebook outages happen fairly regularly -- notable problems occur about every six months," a spokesman for Croc Cloud Services told RBC. - Recently, we experienced inaccessibility of the service due to CDN outages. But it was a local incident. Now we are talking about a global failure. In support of this version, resources are unavailable for residents of different regions - from the United States and Argentina to Europe and Russia.
Every day, Facebook alone is used by approximately 2 billion people around the world.