Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp back online after widespread outage

Globally, people kept on uninstalling and reinstalling the affected apps, wiping their phones, reducing their phone memory and praying that their social media accounts have not been hacked. Why?

Social media services owned by Facebook, and run on shared infrastructure were down from about 17:00 WAT and other related products, such as Facebook Messenger and Workplace, also stopped working until around 22:00 WAT on Monday.  Nevertheless, Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram are back up and running after an outage that lasted almost six hours, Facebook says.

Although Facebook and Instagram began working for users again at around 23:00 WAT, while WhatsApp remained still down.

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger were unreachable for hours for many users, and this outages caused widespread chaos for those who use it for communication — particularly for WhatsApp users globally — as well as companies and people who rely on the sites to conduct business.

“This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt,” said Facebook. It reportedly also affected employee’s work passes and email. But the company said there was “no evidence that user data was compromised”.

Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis for Kentik explained that Facebook’s routes were withdrawn Monday morning, he said, and its apps couldn’t be found online because those routes contained the addresses of Facebook’s domain name system (DNS) servers, which translate familiar Web addresses, such as Facebook.com, into a string of numbers that computers can read. When the servers have trouble communicating, it can make websites unreachable.

The hours-long outage again shed light on the company’s huge swaths of power, something regulators and lawmakers are scrutinizing in the wake of new revelations from a whistleblower about the company that she alleges proves it has been negligent in eliminating violence and misinformation from its platform.

Downdetector, which tracks outages, said some 10.6 million problem reports around the world. However, the real number of people affected is much higher: more than 3.5 billion people use Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Whatsapp.

Mr Zuckerberg has apologised to those affected by the outage

The week had already started off badly – after the whistleblower in the “Facebook Files” revelations revealed herself on Sunday. But a bad week has become a terrible one for the social network.

Tell us what your go to was when you found out you could not access your usual social media app.