Facebook, the most popular social networking site suffered its third major global outage last night. Along with Facebook, services such as Instagram and WhatsApp were also down, and to express their frustration, users from across the world took to Twitter. In South Africa, hashtags such as #instagramdown, #facebookdown and #whatsappdown were trending.
Due to the outage, Facebook and Instagram pages failed to refresh or load, whereas WhatsApp messages either got delayed, or were not sent to users at all. However, according to reports, the problem was largely restricted to mobile phones.
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According to Downdetector, a site that monitors website outages, problems with Facebook started early Sunday morning in New York around 6:30AM, and the issue also affected users in the US, Europe and Asia. The social media networks were up and running again by 9:30AM New York time. In a statement to Bloomberg, a Facebook spokesperson said, “Earlier today, some people may have experienced trouble connecting to the family of apps. The issue has since been resolved; we’re sorry for any inconvenience.”
Even Instagram sent out a brief update via its Twitter handle saying that it was aware of the problem and is “hard at work” to resolve the issue. This year, the first outage was experienced in January when Instagram app crashed, whereas WhatsApp users from across the globe were unable to send or receive messages. Even last month, Facebook faced an outage which was the most widespread, where users were unable to access the social network for over 12 hours.
With three outages in four months, it just adds to the woes of the social media company, which is already battling issues such as safeguarding user data, the spread of fake news, hate speech and all other forms of disinformation.