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Facebook sites crash in temporary blackout

Services for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp were down for hours on Monday evening.

By Olivia Mackenzie Smith

Picture from "dinero facebook" by clasesdeperiodismo is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

At approximately 17.22 on October 4th, Facebook reported they were experiencing issues with the app as well as all other apps owned by the company. The outage continued for several hours and has been described as the “largest ever tracked”.

Facebook’s engineering team described how the “configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication.

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

The loss of Facebook and its apps caused widespread disruption particularly within universities, where many groups rely on the social media site to communicate and run organisations and societies.

A University of Aberdeen spokesperson talked to The Gaudie about the outage: “Social media is one of a number of channels used to convey University messages. The short outage did not have any significant impact on communications and any planned content was rescheduled once the systems were back up and running.”

The committee for the University of Aberdeen Feminist Society commented on it saying:

“We use social media as our primary way of communicating with our members and people who are interested in the society. The blackout seriously impacted our ability to talk to people and to let them know about the events we have on. We are still working on fixing things.”

Ainhoa Burghos Aguilera, social media officer for the Secret Garden Society and the Photography Society also mentioned how:

“For the Secret Garden Society, we were having an important meeting the following day with the committee of other societies along with one of the coordinators of the School of Biological Sciences. I was the only one aware of this, as I was told about it that same day, and I had to contact the rest of the committee to see who could attend the meeting.”

“When I found out that Facebook had gone down, my only option left was to send an email, taking the risk of not getting any replies on time.”

In a post on their official Twitter page, Facebook apologized “to the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us…”

“We’ve been working hard to restore service to our apps and services and are now happy to report they are coming back online now. Thank you for bearing with us.”Facebook, Whatsapp and Instagram have all restarted and as of now there appear to be signs of further issues.


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