Facebook said late Monday the company believes a “faulty configuration” change was the cause of a widespread outage that lasted roughly six hours.

“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,” Facebook’s Vice President of Engineering and Infrastructure Santosh Janardhan said in a blog post. “This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.” 

Monday’s outage also impacted the tools that Facebook employees use. Facebook said it hasn’t found any evidence that user data was compromised during the outage. 


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The rare outage, which also impacted other apps owned by Facebook such as Instagram and WhatsApp, showcased how dependent people and businesses are on social media even as the company faces more scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators. The Wall Street Journal recently published a series of stories detailing how Facebook knew about the platform’s problems including its harmful impact on the mental health of teenagers. Former Facebook product manager Frances Haugen, the whistleblower who gathered the internal documents used by The Journal, is scheduled to testify before Congress on Tuesday.

Monday’s outage was reminiscent of other times Facebook’s services went offline. Facebook also experienced a lengthy outage in 2019 that lasted more than 14 hours. The social network said the 2019 outage was the result of a “server configuration change.”


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