Social networks Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger witnessed a historic blackout for nearly seven hours on Monday. This is the second setback in less than 24 hours for the Facebook company, which had to make public disclosures from a whistleblower on Sunday.
“To the vast community of people and businesses around the world that depend on us: We are sorry. We are working hard to bring you back to our apps and services and are happy to inform you that they are now Coming back online,” Facebook said on Twitter at 6:30 p.m. Monday, after a seven-hour outage.
Facebook said in a statement late Monday that the major failure of its network and messaging was caused by a “faulty configuration change” of its servers.
Cyber security experts accurately predicted during the day that the failure was probably related to an update to the computer system that made it possible to associate servers with domain names.
“It is as if someone accidentally unplugged their modem at home. This type of problem happens regularly in small companies, but failures of this magnitude have never been seen in large digital social media”, explained press Jonathan Bonneau, coordinator of the Social Media and Gamification Research Laboratory.
Bonau said the group probably wouldn’t provide more details about the exact cause of the failure.
The outage did not affect personal information, so Facebook has no responsibility to tell us what happened, as it is not dangerous to citizens.
Jonathan Bonneau, Coordinator of the Social Media and Gamification Research Laboratory
Several applications in Facebook Groups including WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook and Instagram were affected by the outage. “All of these services are managed by Facebook, so when Facebook had a problem with it, all other services were affected, because they all use the same Internet infrastructure,” said a professor in the IT department of the Université du Québec Montréal. Sebastian Gambes explained. (UQAM) and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Privacy-Friendly and Ethical Analysis of Big Data.
Facebook in shame
Facebook is going through its worst reputation crisis in two weeks, because public disclosures Of a former computer engineer, Frances Haugen.
Engineer left Facebook group in May with thousands of documents he shared wall street journal. In mid-September the newspaper revealed that the company was researching the impact of the social media Instagram on teenage girls’ self-esteem. These studies specifically showed that 32% of teenage girls felt that using Instagram gave them a more negative image of their body.
On Sunday, engineer Frances Haugen, in an interview broadcast by CBS, directly accused Facebook of choosing to “benefit over security” from its users.
“If we were a company that didn’t care about safety, that prioritizes profits, we wouldn’t be doing this kind of research,” Facebook vice president Monica Bickert said Monday of the study on teen girls.
M. Revelations ofMe Haugen has given new impetus to Facebook’s critics, especially US politicians, seeking to gain control of its ubiquitous platforms. Thus the whistleblower will be questioned by the parliamentary committee on Tuesday.
Experts say the outage and whistleblower’s statements are unlikely to be related.
“There’s always a small risk that it was a hacker that caused the outage, but usually if it were, we’d have a message or a group that would come forward. Maybe it’s in the next few hours, But it’s not like it works in general,” Mr Bono explained.
small business affected
Professor Gambes said the repercussions of such a failure for the Facebook group would be primarily financial, as well as damage its reputation. Indeed, according to the US trade magazine, Facebook shares fell 4.9% in one day, which equates to a loss of 7.4 billion Canadian dollars. Forbes.
Companies using Facebook Group’s various platforms for advertising were also affected by the major blackout. “These companies lost sales, had less traffic to their sites and could no longer communicate with their customers. There are a lot of companies that have lost thousands of dollars, which is the difference between visiting or not coming at the end of the month. can,” Bono says.
a moment of rest
Mr Bono said users of various platforms were also punished by the outage. “People who have had connection problems are going to experience disappointment. They must have updated their phone, restarted their phone, restarted Facebook, shut down Facebook, restarted Facebook,” he listed.
Despite the inconvenience, some users took advantage of these few-hour outages to escape the pressure of social networks. “A day like this makes you realize the importance of taking a break from your phone or apps. Some may have been a little nervous today, but for others, not being able to access these platforms was very comforting,” concluded Mr Bono.
With the agency France-Press
Number of disturbance reports received between 11:15 am and 12:30 pm on Monday
Number of people using the Facebook Groups app per month
Source: Agence France-Presse
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