No, really, what caused Facebook to crash for over six hours?

Worst. Day. Ever.

No, really, what caused Facebook to crash for over six hours?
(Image: Unsplash/Glen Carrie)

Following a bombshell revelation involving a whistleblower who alleged the social media platform of prioritizing profit over the public goodFacebook has also had to deal with a devastating global outage that lasted over six hours — its worst since, well, ever.

After such a difficult day, we just had to ask: is Facebook still okay? And is the worst over?

For those who likewise live in Southeast Asia and might have slept through the event, yes, Facebook’s family of apps — Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp — all crashed sometime around midnight of Tuesday, October 5, rendering its 3.5 billion users unable to access the social network. Things were only restored around 6 AM, at which people woke up to an almost audible “oops.

Between that time, an absolute deluge of memes, jokes, and snarky solutions drowned Twitter, occupying the hashtag #facebookdown which trended in a split-second.

Within those few precious hours, the personal estate of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg took a hit as well, plunging by more than $6 billion and pushing him down a couple of notches on the list of the world’s richest people. Ouch.

Despite surviving its worst outage since 2008, when a bug blocked access to its then 80 million users for about a day, Facebook has yet to formally issue a statement on what went wrong, only scarcely saying that it experienced “networking issues.”

For some, the sparse reason behind the crash has some coincidental connection to the revelations of 37-year-old Frances Haugen, the former Facebook product manager who blew the whistle on how the social media site failed to manage misinformation on its platform. 

On CBS’ program “60 Minutes,” Haugen revealed that the tens of thousands of documents she unveiled are evidence that “Facebook knows its platforms are used to spread hate, violence, and misinformation, and that the company has tried to hide that evidence.”

By the looks of things, it looks like the worst is yet to come for Facebook, and it needs to be ready to respond to more than just Twitter’s jabs at its global site crash. 

Art Daniella Sison

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