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Users grapple with global shutdown

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

Monday at about noon Eastern Time, Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp collapsed. Facebook reported that this is the most major event of this sort for the monstrous organization. Facebook and its associate apps were all inactive for over five hours.

There was some speculation that the incident may have been a hack either for financial gain or to ‘punish’ the giant social media company for its role in what some term censorship.

Facebook has been criticized more than once for its perceived heavy-handed and sometimes questionable sifting of users’ post in what some members have labeled as politically motivated and outright censorship. Another such accusation surfaced on Sunday as the mega-firm cracked down on misinformation and what it defined as hate-speech.

Facebook released this statement: “To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we’re sorry. We’ve been working hard to restore access to our apps and services and are happy to report they are coming back online now. Thank you for bearing with us.”

Monday evening Facebook company added this explanation: “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. This disruption to network traffic had a cascading effect on the way our data centers communicate, bringing our services to a halt.”

“We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” Facebook said in a tweet shortly after the initial collapse became known.

One Facebook employee told Reuters that all internal tools were down. Facebook’s response was made much more difficult because employees lost access to some of their own tools in the shutdown, people tracking the matter said. Many staff members are in the dark about what issues are involved with this problem.

Facebook and its associated branches is losing approximately $545,000 in U.S. ad revenue during each hour of the outage, according to Standard Media Index, an ad measurement firm. The estimates were based on total Facebook and Instagram ad spending from major advertising agencies during January to August this year.

Users may want to access critical information when questioning why a site is inaccessible. A solid source is ‘Downdetector.’ This “only tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform – showed there were more than 50,000 incidents of people reporting issues with Facebook and Instagram. The outage might be affecting a larger number of users.” (Reuters)

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