Here’s What Facebook Says Triggered the Massive Outage on Its Apps


Facebook Inc. blamed a global service outage that kept its social media apps offline for much of Monday on a problem with its network configuration, adding that it found no evidence that user data was compromised during the downtime.

“Configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication,” the company wrote in a blog post-Monday night. “This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”

The issue took Facebook’s core social network, its photo app Instagram and its WhatsApp messenger offline for hours. Signal, a private messaging app endorsed by Edward Snowden, signed up millions of new users on the day and the audio-chat app Clubhouse also saw thousands of rooms filling up to discuss the outage.

Facebook’s internal tools, communications, and systems were also impacted by the service disruption, adding to the challenge for engineers working to identify and resolve the issue. Its internal work product, Workplace, was also affected. Fixing the underlying problem involved visiting a physical server facility and manually resetting some servers, a spokesman said.

“To every small and large business, family, and the individual who depends on us, I’m sorry,” Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer tweeted Monday afternoon. His apology was reiterated by Facebook’s engineering blog.

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