Facebook explains the failure of the application after the restoration of services | Connect FM | Local news radio

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(MENLO PARK, Calif.) – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are back.

The apps, owned by Facebook, ceased working for millions of users in the United States on Monday, according to outage site Down Detector.

The mobile and web editions of the apps weren’t working at 11:42 a.m.ET, the site reported.

They were down for over six hours.

“To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: We’re sorry. We have worked hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to announce that they are coming back online now. Thank you for your patience, ”Facebook said Monday evening, after the apps started working again.

Later Monday, the company explained why the outage occurred.

“Our engineering teams have learned that configuration changes on the backbone routers that coordinate network traffic between our data centers caused issues that interrupted that communication. This disruption in network traffic has had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, shutting down our services, ”Facebook said in a statement.

Despite the many theories that have been circulating the internet since the outage, Facebook said it had no evidence that user data was compromised during the disruption.

“Our services are now back online and we are actively working towards their full return to regular operations. We want to clarify at this point that we believe the root cause of this failure was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data has been compromised as a result of this downtime, ”they said.

On Monday afternoon, when the outage was first reported, a spokesperson for the Facebook company told ABC News, “We are aware that some people are having difficulty accessing our applications and products. We are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience. “

The company added that it was experiencing “network problems” and gave no time for a fix.

“Our sincere apologies to all affected by the outages in Facebook powered services at this time,” Facebook said at the time. “We are having network problems and the teams are working as quickly as possible to debug and restore as quickly as possible”

The Instagram and Facebook outages come shortly after a whistleblower stepped forward and told CBS News the company could do more to protect itself against hate speech and disinformation, but is prioritizing profits in relation to its users.

Following Sunday’s “60 minute” interview with the whistleblower, identified as Frances Haugen, a data scientist, the company issued a statement in defense.

“We have invested heavily in people and technology to keep our platform secure, and have made tackling disinformation and providing authoritative information a priority,” the company said in a statement. . “If research had identified an exact solution to these complex challenges, the tech industry, governments and society would have solved them a long time ago.”

After the identity of the whistleblower was made public, Senators Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., And Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., Announced that the Senate would hold a hearing at the Senate Consumer Protection Subcommittee on Tuesday. to hear from Haugen on the impacts of Facebook and Instagram. on young users.

Facebook stock was hit hard on Monday following the whistleblower’s disclosures and the outage, recording its worst day of the year. At the close, the stock was trading at $ 326.23 per share, down 16.78 points or 4.89%.

The situation has encouraged other social media sites to make funny jokes.

The official Twitter account tweeted, “Hello literally everyone,” Monday afternoon.

The tweet drew several funny responses from other major accounts, including McDonald’s, Burger King and Starbucks, who tweeted: “The perfect time for a coffee break.”

Later Monday, Twitter users reported issues with the app due to an increase in the number of users, but Twitter’s support page said the issue was resolved.

“Sometimes more people than usual use Twitter. We are preparing for these moments, but today things did not go exactly as planned. Some of you may have had trouble seeing replies and private messages. This has been corrected. Sorry for that! ”Twitter support tweeted.

On Monday afternoon, the Facebook status page came back online with a message for users. “Major disruptions: status of the platform”, we can read. “We are aware that there is an ongoing problem affecting our service. Our engineers are working on it. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

Last Thursday, Facebook’s security chief was asked by lawmakers about what the company knew of Instagram’s potential to be harmful to the mental health of young users.

The Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety and Data Security called the hearing following a Wall Street Journal investigation citing Facebook’s own internal research, allegedly leaked by a whistleblower, who revealed that Instagram has a negative impact on mental health issues in adolescents, especially girls.

“We are here today because Facebook has shown us once again that it is incapable of being held accountable,” Blumenthal said in his opening remarks last week.

Facebook defended itself against the bipartisan scrutiny during the hearing.

“We understand that recent reports have raised many questions about our internal research, including the research we are doing to better understand the experiences of young people on Instagram,” said Antigone Davis, global head of security for Facebook, in a statement. written testimony. “We strongly disagree with how this report has characterized our work, so we want to be clear about what this research shows and what it doesn’t. “

The upcoming committee’s new hearing, titled “Protecting Kids Online: Testimony from a Facebook Whistleblower,” is scheduled for Tuesday at 10:00 am.

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