We all got a stark reminder of why tech monopolies are a bad thing yesterday when
Big Brother Facebook suffered its biggest ever SNAFU and everything went down.
For more than half of Wednesday, no one could use Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Facebook Workplace or parts of WhatsApp. While obviously people found other ways to communicate and everyone remembered Twitter exists, the outage killed services that people take for granted and reminded us all just how much of our daily communication goes through Facebook's servers.
Facebook, meanwhile, hasn't given any explanation for the downtime. How reassuring. However, it has clarified that the rumours swirling on Twitter about a DDoS attack were untrue. (Someone extrapolated from the fact that Google Drive also went down for some people a little bit before the big outage and decided there was a major cyberattack underway).
We're focused on working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, but can confirm that the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.
— Facebook (@facebook) March 13, 2019
Raj Mathai from NBC claimed an internal source said Facebook's database was to blame:
EXCLUSIVE: #Facebook and #Instagram outage due to database problems. #FB database 'overloaded'. 'We are racing to spin up new machines as others go down. Mostly resolved...but it takes time." (per FB internal source) @nbcbayarea
— Raj Mathai (@rajmathai) March 14, 2019
But the company itself has yet to say much beyond posting Oprah gifs (on Twitter – the irony) to declare the problem over.
Anddddd... we're back. pic.twitter.com/5E8UdlcsPJ
— Instagram (@instagram) March 14, 2019
The services seem to be mostly back up now, although some people are apparently still experiencing problems. Thankfully, Google worked throughout, so we were all able to search "decentralised social networks."