Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp back online; no evidence user data compromised, company says

Instant messaging service WhatsApp and social media sites Facebook and Instagram went down for users worldwide on Monday, according to officials and reports on Downdetector, a site which tracks website and service outages.

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Here are the latest updates:

Update 4:05 a.m. EDT Oct. 5: In a new blog post, Facebook said a “faulty configuration change” was the root cause of Monday’s worldwide outage.

“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,” read the post published late Monday.

“Our services are now back online, and we’re actively working to fully return them to regular operations. 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.”

Read the full post here.

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Update 6:58 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Facebook confirmed via Twitter on Monday evening that its services are slowly being restored and thanked users for their patience while the company sorts through the issues which led to the widespread outage.

Update 6:04 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Understanding the widespread outage has led to rampant speculation among social media users. Alex Hern, UK technology editor at The Guardian, offered the following comprehensive thread:

Update 5:52 p.m. EDT Oct 4: Some Facebook and WhatsApp users began reporting sporadically that their account services were functional again just before 6 p.m. Monday.

Update 3:20 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp remain down Monday afternoon, hours after reports of the outage first bubbled up online.

Doug Madory, director of internet analysis for Kentik Inc., told The Associated Press that the issue stemmed from the routes which Facebook uses to tell the internet how to reach its properties, which were unavailable Monday.

Madory told the AP that it appeared the DNS routes Facebook makes available to the networking world were withdrawn Monday. The Domain Name System is an integral element of how traffic on the internet is routed. DNS translates an address like “facebook.com” to an IP address like 123.45.67.890.

The outage happened one day after whistleblower Frances Haugen, a former Facebook product manager, went on “60 Minutes” on Sunday after providing The Wall Street Journal with internal documents that exposed the company’s awareness of harms caused by its products and decisions.

Update 1:55 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp remain down Monday afternoon, hours after users started reporting issues.

People trying to access Facebook.com were met Monday afternoon with a DNS error which prompted them to check if there was a typo in the URL. Instagram users trying to access the site got a server error.

It remained unclear Monday afternoon what caused the issues.

Update 12:30 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Officials with Instagram’s public relations team confirmed in a tweet Monday that the social media site was experiencing issues.

“Instagram and friends are having a little bit of a hard time right now, and you may be having issues using them,” officials said. “Bear with us, we’re on it!”

Users worldwide reported issues earlier Monday accessing Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp. It was not immediately clear what caused the problems.

Update 12:27 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Officials with Facebook confirmed on Twitter that people reporting “having trouble accessing our apps and products” on Monday.

“We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” company officials said in the tweet.

It was not immediately clear what was causing the issues.

Update 12:20 p.m. EDT Oct. 4: Officials with WhatsApp confirmed Monday that users were experiencing issues with the service after earlier reports on Downdetector indicated that the app went down alongside Instagram and Facebook.

“We’re working to get things back to normal and will send an update here as soon as possible,” officials with WhatsApp said in a Twitter post. “Thanks for your patience!”

Original report: Users trying to access Facebook were seeing an error page which said, “Sorry, something went wrong.” Attempts to access Instagram ended with server errors.

Instagram and WhatsApp are owned by Facebook.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.