Facebook Suffers its Longest Outage

Graffiti of a blue Facebook thumbs-up against a grey wall

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp suffered a global outage. What happened?

Facebook Inc is undergoing one of its most widespread and persistent system outages, with users across the globe unable to access its social network and services from Instagram to Messenger for much of Wednesday, and into yesterday.

Facebook acknowledged the outage on Wednesday while saying it did not appear to be the result of a denial-of-service attack.

The explanation rebuffs speculation that the problems were caused by a cyber attack or a so-called route leak, an error in internet routing that can lead to large outages.

Many of them went to social media to report the downtime or express their frustration about the outage.

Separately, the New York Times reported on Wednesday that U.S. federal prosecutors were conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with more than 150 technology companies such as Amazon.com Inc and Apple Inc.

In November 2018, about 80 million Facebook and Instagram users experienced a similar outage that lasted for about a day.

A grand jury in NY has subpoenaed information from at least two major smartphone makers about such arrangements with Facebook, according to the Times.

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While this represented a major leap for the messaging app that prides itself as the most secured end-to-end encryption chat app, it remains to be seen if the huge number is sustainable.

The last time Facebook had a disruption of this magnitude was in 2008, when the site had 150m users - compared with around 2.3bn monthly users today.

Facebook said in a tweet that it had resolved the issues as of 9:24 AM on March 14.

Regulators, investigators and elected officials in the United States and elsewhere in the world have already been digging into the data sharing practices of Facebook, which has more than two billion users. "Accordingly, our liability shall be limited to the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, and under no circumstance will we be liable to you for any lost profits, revenues, information, or data, or consequential, special, indirect, exemplary, punitive, or incidental damages arising out of, or related to, Facebook Products, even if we have been advised of the possibility of such damages".

"As we've said before, we are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously".

While Facebook has restored majority of services, there are users around the world that are still experiencing problems.

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