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Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp Were All Down for More Than Five Hours

In the biggest crash for the social media service since 2008.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp Were All Down for More Than Five Hours
Facebook, the word, back-lit. Alex Haney / Unsplash

For five hours, chaos reigned over Zuckerberg's social media empire.

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp experienced a catastrophic crash on Monday morning amid substantial updates and rising controversy about content curation on the social media websites, according to Downdetector's website.

Outages were active in New York and the U.S. east coast, Kentucky and the Southern U.S., the U.K., Norway, Bulgaria, and more. Error messages on all three services are appearing on iOS applications and throughout the web. Users who ventured to these high-traffic websites were met with error messages that say things like "5xx Server Error," "Sorry, something went wrong," and other similar messages of helplessness.

Facebook and Instagram were restored after five hours of chaos

Facebook and its subsidiary app Instagram were restored after a serious outage that lasted for more than five hours on Monday. Facebook service was restored at roughly 5:53 PM EDT, with Instagram restored in the following minutes. As of 6:14 PM EDT, WhatsApp was still not functioning, but it will likely return soon.

As the chaos unfolded, an alleged Facebook insider who claimed to work for the "Facebook Recovery" team took to Reddit to dive into what the central issues with the outage were, while Twitter users suspected that the problem stemmed from Facebook's own registrar being deleted, effectively erasing the social media service from the web. Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lost more than $6 billion dollars in a few hours, kicking him down several notches on the list of the richest people in the world.

For the original post from the initial crash, read on.

Facebook is down for US, UK, Kuwait, Norway, Brazil, Turkey, and more

Every Facebook-controlled platform is down, according to Downdetector data, in addition to endless Twitter posts expressing the same. The outages began at roughly 11:40 AM EDT, and as of writing all of these services are still completely closed to global traffic. Almost immediately, these outages began trending on Twitter as users posted to see if other users are suffering the same issues. A hashtag dubbed "#DeleteFacebook" is also reached top trending status amid ongoing corporate confrontations about the firm's effect on younger users.

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Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp outages typically only affect specific geographic regions, but today's outage is global. This means the U.S., the U.K., Kuwait, Brazil, Norway, Turkey, Canada — you name it, Facebook is out. Other platforms that rely on Facebook logins for services are also experiencing issues. Pokémon GO Creator Niantic said the platform is "looking into reports of errors associated with Facebook login, and will update here once we have more information," according to a tweet. Additionally, Facebook's internal Workplace site and adjacent services for employees are also experiencing outage issues, said Jane Manchun Wong in another tweet.

Internal Facebook memo reports employee services also down

As of noticing, Facebook had yet to publicly affirm or comment on its global outage. The issue seems related to a DNS issue with the Facebook servers. But, later, Facebook and WhatsApp both released statements. Facebook's Andy Stone tweeted: "We're aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience." WhatsApp had the same update, but without the apology. Beyond the public service of the social media websites, Facebook also experienced internal issues, with employees also losing service during the Monday outage, according to another tweet from Jane Manchun Wong.

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An internal memo, shared by Puck Correspondent Dylan Byers read: "We are receiving reports that several FB services are down (Internet Tools, Workchat, Workplace, Workplace Rooms, FB, IG, WhatsApp, etc.). This appears to be a DNS issue that is impacting both internal and external access to our tools and apps." As of 1:00 PM EDT, all of Facebook's social media and some related services that use Facebook login credentials remained down, with no hint of when normal service would return.

This was a breaking story and was regularly updated as new information became available.

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