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Facebook apologizes, explains the cause of its massive outage

Facebook logo on a Pixel 4 XL
Facebook logo on a Pixel 4 XL (Image credit: Joe Maring / Android Central)

Update, Oct 5 (16:45 ET): Facebook explains what went wrong

Update, Oct 4 (18:45 ET): Facebook services recovering from outage

If you're having issues sending or receiving messages on WhatsApp, you're not the only one. The Facebook-owned messaging platform seems to be down, and it's not the only one; Instagram and Facebook are seeing outages as well, with users around the world unable to refresh their news feed or see messages.

I'm not able to send or receive messages in WhatsApp, my Instagram feed isn't loading, and I'm not able to access Messenger. This isn't the first time Facebook services went down in recent months, and at this moment, it's unclear what's causing the issue. From the error message, it looks like a configuration issue with DNS servers.

According to Downdetector, users from all over the world are having issues connecting to Facebook services, so it isn't an isolated incident. Ironically, Facebook's status page is also inaccessible, so whatever is going on, the issue is affecting all of the social networking site's servers. Even Oculus is affected as it uses the same servers as other Facebook services.

Facebook posted on Twitter that it is aware of the issue and that a fix is underway:

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I've reached out to Facebook and will update this post once I hear back. The last time the site had a global outage, it was around a DNS configuration issue that prevented its services from being able to talk to Facebook's servers. It looks like that's once again the case, but once we hear back from Facebook around what's actually going on, we won't know for sure. What is clear at the moment is that the outage took out all of Facebook's servers.

Update, Oct 5 (16:45 ET) ― Facebook apologizes for outage

Facebook issued an apology to its users after the massive October 4 outage that left its various services unusable around the world.

Santosh Janardhan, Facebook's vice president of Engineering and Infrastructure, explained that faulty "configuration changes" to routers that coordinate traffic between the company's data centers were behind the outage. This brought down its consumer-facing services as well as its internal systems, which is why the outage took so long to fix.

Janardhan also apologized while acknowledging the consumers and businesses that rely on its services globally.

We understand the impact that outages like these have on people's lives, as well as our responsibility to keep people informed about disruptions to our services.

He assured, however, that no user data was compromised while services were down.

Update, Oct 4 (18:45 ET) ― Facebook says its services are coming back online

After more than a few hours, Facebook appears to be making some recovery as the main app, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram, start coming back online.

Facebook posted the update on their Twitter account, apologizing to users for the inconvenience:

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Fortunately, you should be able to start using the apps again, although they don't appear to be fully functioning just yet.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor covering Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone manufacturers, and writes about the semiconductor industry, storage servers, and audio products. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

14 Comments
  • What a prompt article Sir!
  • It's quite annoying. And I only use 1 of their services.
  • Gab and Twitter still up, so yeah, it's just a Facebook thing.
  • So it begins... Probably because they don't want the FacistBook whistle blower story to spread. They have been a cancer on society since inception! PERIOD 🤡
  • What's did Facebook do? I'm a little out of the loop with it.
  • My understanding is DNS deletion.
  • Ya, can't login to a game I access via Facebook. No big deal. It would be healthy for a lot of people if Facebook was down for a few weeks.
  • Even several hours after it came back I'm having errors trying to comment or react to posts and I've got messages failing to send.
  • No huge loss to humanity if Facebook wasn't around anymore. It makes one whish that outage was permanent...
  • Amen to that. Deleted FB many years ago. Felt good!
  • They should have stayed down for a few more days. No great loss.
  • $5 says it was a DDoS against them as retaliation for what the whistleblower revealed on Sunday on 60 Minutes. Too much of a coincidence to happen the day after.
  • Facebook cares about your data just as much as Apple does. They both can have each other.
  • Not having WhatsApp access for a whole day was mixed feelings for me. On one hand it was a problem since that's what I (and so many others all over the world) use to communicate both with work, family and friends. On the other hand, a part of me was kinda hopping that it truly vanished so telegram and signal could take over.