Facebook is Down Globally

Facebook, Instagram go down around the world in an apparent outage

On March 13th, 2019 don’t freak out if you cannot access Facebook.

It’s a bit weird and chaotic. A message showing to those affected suggests the problem is part of scheduled maintenance, though Facebook’s own developer page makes no reference to those issues. This story is a work in progress. Facebook is down today.

The problems were happening across the world, according to outage tracking website Down Detector. While you can open the apps, they’re missing major functions. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Instagram at 1:00 pm EST look liked this:

Facebook says it’s working to resolve the issue as soon as possible

Users reported seeing a wide array of functions not working, like uploading photos, adding statuses or adjusting pages. Some reported a message about that said there was “problem updating your status” and encouraging people to try again in a few minutes.

#FacebookIsDown was trending on Twitter in the early afternoon of March 13th, 2019. Downdetector.com, which monitors websites, showed Facebook experiencing issues across a large portion of the US, Europe, South America and Asia.

Time to Log on to Twitter

It’s sad day when you have to go on to Twitter to find out what’s going on with Facebook’s family of apps.

The company addressed the outage on its Twitter account just before 2 p.m. ET, saying that officials were working to restore access as soon as possible. That’s a full 90 minutes at least after global users started to report major issues.

Facebook did not say how many Facebook and Instagram accounts were impacted or indicate the cause of the disruption.

Unprecedented Facebook Connectivity Issues

Again I cover tech news and cybersecurity, but for Facebook I’ve never seen anything like this.

Twitter Memes about this

I can relate to the humor though about this:

  • When I try to access Facebook on desktop, I just get a big blank white page. (not even the maintenance note some users apparently get).

Sorry, something went wrong

Global users miss Instagram nearly twice as much as Facebook when there is such an outage. WhatsApp appears fine, but Facebook, Messenger and Instagram are either completely down or reporting severe issues still as of 02:30 EST.

There’s still no word yet from Facebook as to why the outages are occurring. Oddly this story did not appear in a timely fashion on Business Insider or CNBC, where I’d expect them to appear.

Downdetector has over 10k comments on this at last count with clear peer-to-peer evidence this is a global issue.

Some users got a maintenance note, but minutes turned into hours.

As the hours went on, even Influencers were weighing in:

If you are a global app and you cannot fix a DDoS or whatever this is in 3 hours something is not quite right.

I could not even comment as my feed came back but in a broken state.

So all to say that Facebook suffered its most severe outage in its history. The cause of the interruption has not yet been made public. They did some good damage control and practically removed the news from the internet today (which is a kind of censorship).

Facebook showed a high degree of control and secrecy over the incident and pretty poor relations with public updates on the issue. The last time Facebook had a disruption of this magnitude was in 2008, when the site had 150m users — compared to around 2.3 Billion monthly users (MAUs) today.

On March 14th, the day after the global glitch that lasted several hours, Facebook blamed a “server configuration change” for the outages.

Correction: In some regions WhatsApp was also affected.