TORONTO – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are slowly coming back online on Monday night after experiencing a global outage throughout the day.
Service resumed for some users at around 6 p.m. EDT. The outage left people around the world unable to communicate on the platform for more than six hours
according to website down detector, users began reporting outage issues at around 11:20 p.m. EDT.
Several users received an “IP address could not be found” message when trying to load Facebook, while Instagram and WhatsApp users could not refresh their feeds or send any new messages to those apps. Instagram and WhatsApp are owned by Facebook.
“We know that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products,” Facebook said on Twitter. “We’re working to get things back to normal as soon as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
Facebook did not say what caused the outage.
Cyber security expert Ritesh Kotak told Granthshala news channel on Monday, “We have seen things like this before. But they are very localised, they are in particular areas or within particular platforms.” “I don’t remember a time when there was a global outage of all three platforms where everything was completely shut down.”
Kotak said the problem appeared to be that Facebook’s Domain Name System (DNS) records had been altered. The Internet’s DNS is what translates a web address like “facebook.com” and directs users to the correct IP address. If the company’s DNS records have changed, apps and web addresses will not be able to detect the platform.
“It seems that it has happened that the records have either been deleted or replaced,” Kotak said.
He said the problem could be due to human error and not dishonesty.
Facebook is also going through a different crisis.
Former Facebook product manager, whistleblower Francis Haugen provided internal documents to The Wall Street Journal that he says highlight Facebook’s awareness of the harm caused by its products and decisions. Haugen went public on “60 Minutes” on Sunday and is due to testify before a US Senate subcommittee on Tuesday.
Haugen also disclosed himself to be the anonymous person who filed a complaint with federal law enforcement claiming that Facebook’s own research shows how it fuels hate and misinformation, increased polarization and Instagram, In particular, it can harm the mental health of teenage girls.
With files from Granthshala.ca producer Sonja Puzik and The Associated Press