Global users are experiencing outages on Facebook, including all social networks the company owns, which include Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. When navigating to these websites, a server error will appear -- Instagram shows a "5xx server error," which indicates that this is an issue with Facebook's servers. Users are also unable to send messages or load new content on the mobile apps for these platforms. Even Oculus, Facebook's virtual reality platform, and Workplace, its business communication tool, are down.
Not only are Facebook's services and apps down for the public, its internal tools and communications platforms, including Workplace, are out as well. No one can do any work. Several people I've talked to said this is the equivalent of a "snow day" at the company.
— Ryan Mac 🙃 (@RMac18) October 4, 2021
It appears that the outage is caused by a DNS (domain name server) fail -- this is the naming structure that forms the web's infrastructure. So, if you try to navigate to facebook.com right now, the internet won't know where to find facebook.com.
The trillion-dollar company, which boasts 2.9 billion monthly active users, remained down for about six hours. At the same time, Facebook stock has gone down about 5.5%. This follows a recent downward trend for the stock as Facebook faces scrutiny in the U.S. Senate after whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked internal documents to The Wall Street Journal.
So, @facebook's DNS is broken this morning...
— Jim Salter (@jrssnet) October 4, 2021
Just before 6:00 PM ET, many users started to regain access to Facebook and its other apps, like Instagram and WhatsApp. Later on Monday night, Facebook's engineering team posted an update about the outage.
"Our services are now back online and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations," the company wrote. "We want to make clear at this time we believe the root cause of this outage was a faulty configuration change. We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime."
Update 10/57/21, 9:00 AM EST with update from Facebook about the outage