October 21, 2021
Erin Fay

Facebook Outage = World Panic

More than 3.5 billion people all over the world use Facebooks apps and on Monday, October 4th the world quickly realized how much we all rely on them. Users reported an error message popping up on their Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp around 11:40am Monday morning. Not too long after, Facebook completely disappeared from the internet. This was the longest lasting downtime for Facebook since 2008.

They quickly took to Twitter to tell the world that they knew about outage and they were working on getting it back up and running but it could take hours to stabilize. Many people use these apps to communicate with their friends and families, while companies use them to expand business through advertising and community outreach. Not to mention how many people connect Facebook to login to many other services like their smart TVs, thermostats and other devices. Facebook apologized to all their users and companies who depend heavily on the use of Facebook and their other apps.

What caused the outage?

Facebook stated that the cause of the outage was a configuration change to the routers that coordinate network traffic between the company's data centers. When this happened, it created a cascading effect and brought all Facebook services to a halt.

What happened when Facebook disappeared?

When Facebook shut down I think everyone freaked out a little bit. You could hear everyone talking about their page wasn't loading or they couldn’t post an Instagram picture. Everyone just went to different platforms such as TikTok, playing Fortnite, watching TV or even opening up a book. Netflix’s engagement jumped up 14% while Twitter welcomed everyone who came from Facebook by tweeting “hello literally everyone”.

This outage couldn’t have come at worse time for Facebook. Just one day before, a whistleblower leaked private internal research stating that the company’s executives knew the negative impacts of Instagram within the younger users especially teenage girls.

Will Facebook crash again?

According to Mi-Token, Chief Technology Officer at American Military News says that BGP is “a mechanism by which routers across the planet sharer information with each other about where IP addresses live on the internet. If those are withdrawn, nothing in the world knows where the IP addresses are, therefore, they are effectively ‘gone.” Meaning that Facebook can certainly crash again.

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