Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram Outage: Here's What Happened

The outage reportedly is likely related to a DNS issue, which was experienced by Slack last week.

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Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram faced global outage on Monday, with users complaining from across the globe. The applications were reporting loading issues with traffic completely coming to a standstill. The websites and apps for all of the services were responding with server errors.

All three platforms, Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram stopped working shortly before noon ET. According to Downdetector.com, more than 20,000 users reported issues with Facebook and Instagram. The outage is impacting users on both desktop and mobile.

Sudden Halt

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Facebook Reuters

At the time of writing this report, it was still unclear if users were impacted across the world or from specific regions. Also, it's not known what caused the apps to go offline.

Facebook communications exec Andy Stone took to Twitter to address the problem, saying, "We're aware that some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products. We're working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience."

Also a message appeared on the Facebook website, saying: "Sorry, something went wrong. We're working on it and we'll get it fixed as soon as we can."

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A 3D printed Whatsapp logo is seen in front of a displayed Facebook logo in this illustration taken April 28, 2016 REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

The first reports on DownDetector.com started around 11:44 a.m. ET. According to DownDetector.com, the social-media giant's instant messaging platform WhatsApp was down for over 14,000 users, while Messenger was down for nearly 3,000 users.

A tweet shared by Instagram said: "Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them. Bear with us, we're on it! #instagramdown".

Bad Timing

Interestingly, the apps went offline just at a time when Facebook's Antigone Davis was going live on CNBC defending the company over whistleblower Frances Haugen's accusations and its handling of research data suggesting Instagram is harmful to teens.

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Instagram Pixabay

On Sunday, Haugen gave in a blockbuster interview that was aired on the television news show 60 Minutes. Haugen publicly revealed herself on the show as the whistleblower who leaked a series of explosive internal Facebook research to the Wall Street Journal and to lawmakers detailing the extent to which Facebook knew that its services were used for spreading misinformation.

Haugen alleged in the interview that Facebook prematurely deactivated certain safeguards intended to prevent the spread of misinformation and offensive content soon after the 2020 US presidential election.

According to The Verge, the issue is likely related to a DNS issue. When Slack experienced an outage last week, it was also related to DNS issues.

If Instagram.com is opened presently, it is flashing a 5xx Server Error message, while the Facebook site is saying that something went wrong. Users can load games they already have installed and the browser works, but social features or installing new games does not.

A similar problem had occurred in 2019 when Facebook was offline for over an hour. However, this time the problem seems to be even bigger.

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