Facebook says mass outage was caused by 'server configuration change'

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UPDATE (March 14):

A Facebook outage affecting users around the globe appears to have waned after at least fourteen hours from Wednesday into the wee hours of Thursday.

At 12:41 a.m. ET, Instagram posted a tweet that said, "Anddddd... we're back" with a gif of Oprah Winfrey.

Facebook has denied rumors that the mass outage was caused by a distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack — a type of hack in which attackers flood a company's network.

“Our engineers have now identified and implemented a fix for the issues we experienced yesterday," Facebook said in a statement. "Access to our family of apps and services is now being restored, but our systems are still recovering. We will share an update when our systems are fully back up and running for everyone.”

The outage was the biggest interruption ever to Facebook's services and served as a cautious reminder to those who rely on the network for business and revenue.

Around 12:30 p.m., Facebook released an updated statement on Twitter, saying that the outage had been caused by a "server configuration change."

"Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services," Facebook stated. "We've now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone’s patience."


Users across the internet are reporting that the social media site, Facebook, is down in various ways Wednesday afternoon, especially those using it on desktop. Some mobile apps seem to be working.

Thousands of users say they are experiencing outages on Facebook at this time. According to downdetector.com, users began reporting outages just before noon. It's worldwide, but appears to be hitting the U.S. and Europe particularly hard.

Facebook released a statement around 2 p.m., after many users had been experiencing the outage for around 2 hours, stating, "We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible."

Later, at 3:04 p.m., Facebook issued an updated statement, reading, "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."

A "DDoS" attack refers to a "denial of service" cyber-attack in which an individual or entity would overwhelm servers to block the public from accessing a certain page or network.

For our newsroom, the outage has been preventing any new posts to our Facebook page or responses to user comments. Many people report a similar problem in which they can see their timelines but cannot make posts.

Others are unable to login to either Facebook or Instagram, and Facebook now gives an error message stating that "Facebook is down for required maintenance right now, but you should be able to get back on within a few minutes."

Of course, that message has been the same for hours now.

Some Instagram users can see their feed, but not others, and everyone is having trouble posting anything.

Reports are coming in not just up and down the East Coast, but across the country and internationally as well, affecting mass quantities of people. Many report being unable to post, share, or like. Others report zero problems while someone directly connected to them has an issue.

The outage is also affecting Messenger. WhatsApp is in the Facebook family of products too, but it seems to be working.

The last time Facebook went down was Nov. 20 - and it took Instagram with it then as well. That outage was the second time that month.

So of course, people are taking to Twitter for memes and mocking.

And don’t worry, there’s still SnapChat - so you can post selfies of yourself with weird filters; TikTok so you can pretend you’re on MTV in the late ’80s; oh, let’s not forget YouTube where most children watch TV these days.

And there’s probably some other underground social media network your kids aren’t telling you about.