Facebook says six-hour outage was caused by faulty configuration change


If you were online during the wee hours of the morning today, chances are, you too were affected by Facebook Inc.’s massive outage. To clear the air, the social media giant has released a blog post explaining that it was all because of a faulty configuration change to its routers.

The company’s network of social media apps, which includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Whatsapp, all went down on Tuesday, October 5, starting at 12:00 a.m. Philippine time until around 6:00 a.m.

Although Facebook did not explain the problem in detail, it said that the interruptions were the result of “configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers.”

“This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt,” the statement says.

As The Verge notes, it seems that the faulty change Facebook is pertaining to is a routine Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) update that, apparently, wiped out the domain name system (DNS) routing information Facebook needs for them to be accessible to other networks.

But Facebook’s websites were not the only ones heading south at that time. Bloomberg reported that employees at Facebook’s California campus were also unable to access offices and conference rooms that required a security badge using the company’s email system.

Facebook says that now everything is back online, it wants to assure its users that there is “no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”

This isn’t the first time that Facebook was crippled by an outage, though. The same thing happened in 2019 when the site was down for more than 24 hours.

Downdetector also described Facebook’s recent breakdown as the largest failure the outage tracker has ever seen after receiving 10.6 million problem reports worldwide throughout the duration of the incident.


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