The users of social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, and chatting app WhatsApp were left puzzled nearly six hours into an outage that paralyzed the services. Facebook and its WhatsApp and Instagram apps went down at around 9.15 AM IST, which was claimed to be a problem in the company’s domain name system, a relatively unknown but crucial component of the internet.
Apologies to everyone who hasn’t been able to use WhatsApp today. We’re starting to slowly and carefully get WhatsApp working again.
Thank you so much for your patience. We will continue to keep you updated when we have more information to share.
— WhatsApp (@WhatsApp) October 4, 2021
Within minutes micro-blogging site Twitter flooded with posts and messages complaining about the disruption of services as #MarkZuckerberg trended. Soon after the outage, Facebook acknowledged users were having trouble accessing its apps and apologized as the apps started to come back online. However, what left the users bothered is the part company refusing to reveal the actual reason behind the slag.
While the actual reason remained unknown the error message on Facebook’s website initially showed an issue with the Domain Name System (DNS) and later it said, “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.” The error message about DNS was displayed on Instagram’s website too.
News agency Reuters said in a report stated that a hack or breach of the networks from outside was “less likely” as such a large-scale denial-of-service attack minutes before Facebook’s platforms stopped loading, public records show that a large number of changes were made to Facebook’s BGP routes, according to Cloudflare Inc.’s chief technology officer, John Graham-Cumming, in a Tweet.
The outage came amidst the accusations that the company of repeatedly prioritizing profit over clamping down on hate speech and misinformation.