Panic as Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp goes down

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Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went offline for users across the globe, the social media giant said on Monday, as it worked on restoring its services.

The issue affecting the services could not immediately be determined, but the error message on the webpage of Facebook suggested a problem with domain same system (DNS) servers.

DNS allows Web addresses to take users to their destinations. A similar outage at cloud company Akamai Technologies took down multiple websites in July.

Security experts tracking the situation said the outage could have been triggered by a configuration error
Security experts tracking the situation said the outage could have been triggered by a configuration error, which could be the result of an internal mistake, though sabotage by an insider would be theoretically possible.

An outside hack was viewed as less likely. A massive denial-of-service attack that could overwhelm one of the world’s most popular sites, on the other hand, would require either coordination among powerful criminal groups or a very innovative technique.

Facebook acknowledged users were having trouble accessing its apps but did not provide any specifics about the nature of the problem or how many were affected by the outage. “We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologise for any inconvenience,” Facebook said.

Shares tumble
Shares of Facebook, which has nearly two billion daily active users, fell 5.5% in afternoon trading on Monday, inching towards its worst day in nearly a year.

Facebook has experienced similar widespread outages with its suite of apps this year in March and July.

Several users using their Facebook credentials to log in to third-party apps such as Pokemon Go and Match Masters were also facing issues.

“If your game isn’t running as usual, please note that there’s been an issue with Facebook login servers and the moment this gets fixed all will be back to normal,” puzzle game app Match Masters said on its Twitter account.

We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologise for any inconvenience

The outage, which hit the social media giant’s platforms minutes before 5pm South African time, comes a day after a Facebook whistle-blower accused the firm of repeatedly prioritising profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation, and said her lawyers have filed at least eight complaints with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The complaint has led to two members of the European parliament calling for an investigation into the allegations.

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