/ 06 October 2021

Facebook on the blink

Image source: Getty
Image source: Getty

For a few hours yesterday morning, the digitally-connected and time-wasters amongst us were cast adrift into a sea without Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. Thank goodness Twitter and others picked up the slack… The global outage affected billions of users, millions of advertisers, and founder/boss Mark Zuckerberg’s hip pocket… His personal wealth fell by more than $9.5 billion yesterday, taking him down a notch to #5 on the list of the world’s richest people after Facebook shares fell 4.89% on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday before recovering half of that overnight.

The company’s largest-ever service failure kicked off at 2.40am AEDT, and it took almost 6 hours to get services back online. Facebook issued an explanation, saying it wasn’t a hack – it was due to a “faulty configuration change”. Before you get huffy with us as we play IT helpdesk, what that means is their machines stopped talking to one another, and like if someone mucked up the traffic lights and confused everyone on the road, traffic ground to a halt. That could have been the result of human error, experts say. Initially, close watchers thought something more sinister was at play because the apps dropped out suddenly, but that’s not so, says Facebook.

You know Facebook’s based in California, right? Anyway… It was a rough day after a rough few weeks for the tech giant. Its share price fell about 15% in September because of legal and social impact woes. A couple of weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook knew about a wide range of problems with its products, including that Instagram can harm teenage girls’ mental health. The reports got government officials’ attention, and on Monday, the whistleblower revealed herself ahead of appearing before Congress this morning. The company is also dealing with an antitrust lawsuit that seeks to unwind Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp. Regulators say the company has used its dominance to squash competitors. So yeah, it’s been a bit of a time…

The Squiz Today

Your shortcut to being informed, we've got your news needs covered.

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

Quick, agenda-free news that doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.