- Apologises as company’s shares fall by 5.5% in one day …Zuckerberg loses $7bn to outage
Social media giant, Facebook has been offering explanation as to why its operations were shut down on Monday, grinding global economy to the tune of $160m per hour, according to NetBlocks, a firm tracking internet outages around the world.
In Nigeria, checks by The New Diplomat indicate that users began experiencing problems accessing Facebook and its affiliate sites — WhatsApp and Instagram at about 4.30 pm Nigerian time on Monday. The sites gradually started to resume operations around 1 am early Tuesday.
After the six-hour long outage it experienced on Monday, Facebook in a statement by Santosh Janardhan, in charge of infrastructure at the social media company said Facebook was “sorry for the inconvenience caused by today’s outage across our platforms.
“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted this communication.”
As services began to come back online, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also posted to his Facebook page, saying “Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online now.”
“Sorry for the disruption today — I know how much you rely on our services to stay connected with the people you care about.” Zuckerberg added.
Meanwhile, shares of Facebook, which has nearly 2 billion daily active users, fell 5.5% in afternoon trading on Monday, inching towards its worst day in nearly a year.
Chief Executive Officer of Facebook, Zuckerberg, was also reported to have lost nearly $7bn since the outage began.
Facebook and its affiliates have 2.9 billion monthly active users.
Some were still experiencing difficulties writing or uploading new posts or stories while their feed reloaded. Whatsapp users in Nigeria and elsewhere painstakingly awaited the return of the widely popular instant messaging app, which has now begun to receive messages.
Downdetector, which tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, said that they saw almost 14 million total reports for Facebook, Whatsapp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger as of 1 a.m., but said, “we are starting to see reports begin to decline now that Facebook is back up.”
Facebook apologized but did not immediately explain what caused the failure. The firm owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
As the world flocked to competing apps such as Twitter and TikTok, shares of Facebook fell 4.9%, their biggest daily drop since last November, amid a broader selloff in technology stocks on Monday. Shares rose about half a percent in after-hours trade following resumption of service.
“To every small and large business, family, and individual who depends on us, I’m sorry,” Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer tweeted, adding that it “may take some time to get to 100%.”
According to agency report, several Facebook employees who declined to be named said that they believed that the outage was caused by an internal mistake in how internet traffic is routed to its systems. The failures of internal communication tools and other resources that depend on that same network in order to work compounded the error, the employees said.
Security experts said an inadvertent mistake or sabotage by an insider were both plausible.
“Facebook basically locked its keys in its car,” tweeted Jonathan Zittrain, director of Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society.
As the company was struggling to resume connection, Schroepfer said in a tweet, “We are experiencing networking issues and teams are working as fast as possible to debug and restore.” He also apologized sincerely to everyone “impacted by outages.”
During the crisis, Facebook workers also reported issues with using their company phones and equipment, and some have even been locked out of the building when their digital cards failed to function, the New York Times reported on Monday.
Other platforms such as Amazon and Telegram have been experiencing difficulties ever since the Facebook shutdown as well, possibly as many users turned to these alternative platforms instead of Facebook, and overloaded their systems.
The severe outage comes immediately after a whistleblower accused Facebook of repeatedly prioritizing profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation on Sunday.
“Strange that hours after a whistleblower calls out Facebook saying they engaged in a ‘betrayal of democracy’ that Facebook and other companies it owns are totally down.” Donald Trump Jr. tweeted on Monday. “I’m sure it’s a coincidence.”