Facebook, Facebook Messenger, and its subsidiary platforms Instagram, Oculus VR, and WhatsApp have gone offline in a global outage.
The reason for the downtime is not currently known, but signs point to a routing issue. Update:
It appears that there is a Domain Name Server (DNS) issue with Facebook, with no Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routes working. "Facebook DNS and other services are down," Cloudflare SVP Dane Knecht said on Twitter. "It appears their BGP routes have been withdrawn from the internet. Cloudflare 22.214.171.124 started seeing high failure in last 20mins."
"By not having BGP announcements for your DNS name servers, DNS falls apart = nobody can find you on the Internet," Kevin Beaumont, former Microsoft's Head of Security Operations Centre, explained on Twitter. "Same with WhatsApp btw. Facebook have basically deplatformed themselves from their own platform."
Update 2: After a multi-hour outage, Facebook services have begun to return.
Update 3: "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 said in an update following the outage.
"This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.
The company added: "Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime."
Original article continues: "We are aware some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products," Facebook said. "We are working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible and apologize for any inconvenience."
Facebook has suffered multiple outages over the past few years, and often brings down its technically separate Instagram and WhatsApp services at the same time. The outages have usually been due to software or DNS issues.
There are also reports that the outage has locked Facebook employees out of their offices, and caused knock on effects for other websites and services that integrate Facebook features into their platforms.
The outage comes just a day after a 60 Minutes report saw a whistleblower claim the company spreads hate speech for profit.
Former employee Frances Haugen added that the situation was "substantially worse" than at other social media companies, and said that it was "horrifying" what Facebook is doing "in other countries." She was the key whistleblower behind a series of damning Wall Street Journal reports that exposed a two-tier justice system at Facebook, revealed it knew Instagram was worsening body-image issues among young girls and that it had a bigger vaccine misinformation problem than it publicly admitted.
This story is developing, we will update it as we learn more