The Meta Services Blackout: A Look Back and the Latest Meta Server Down

Mian Ashfaq
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Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, experienced a significant disruption on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, when both Facebook and Instagram were hit by widespread outages.
The issues began around 3:30 pm GMT and affected login attempts and feeds stalling on both platforms.

Meta's business status page reported several disruptions, including major ones for the group's admin center and Facebook login.
This led to a cascade of outages on other sites, as many users rely on Facebook login to access third-party services.
The outages were not limited to Facebook and Instagram. Meta's WhatsApp and the Facebook Ads Transparency page were still working, but other services, such as Messenger API for Instagram, were affected
Google's ads status page also reported a disruption to the company's Ad Manager, which began at around the same time.
The cause of the outage was not immediately clear, but it was not a cyber-attack, according to Jake Moore, global cybersecurity advisor at ESET

It is highly unlikely that the outage was due to a security breach, but the possibility cannot be fully ruled out.
This blackout was not the first of its kind for Meta. In 2021, a configuration error in a little-known protocol called BGP led to the accidental deletion of Meta's address from the systems that allow servers to talk to each other on the Internet.
This error took several hours to fix, causing significant disruption to Meta's services.
The recent outage had a significant impact on Meta's services, including Messenger, WhatsApp, and Ads Manager.
It also affected Meta's website and media pages

The outage sparked a flurry of social media activity, with users expressing frustration and sharing memes about the situation
The incident highlighted the vulnerability of social media platforms to technical issues and malicious cyber activity.
It also raised concerns about the need for more significant investment in cybersecurity and infrastructure security
In the future, Meta and other social media platforms will need to prevent similar outages and protect users' data and privacy

As the tech industry continues to evolve, companies must prioritize cybersecurity and ensure the reliability of their platforms.

Facebook Server Outages: A Historical Perspective

Facebook, a social media giant, has faced several notable server outages throughout its history. These outages have caused disruptions to its services, impacting millions of users worldwide.
Here is a brief overview of some significant Facebook server outages:

27 January 2015:
A 50-minute outage was caused by Facebook attempting system changes that went wrong.
This outage affected Facebook's site, apps, and associated services, leading to user frustration and temporary service unavailability

24 September 2010:
Facebook experienced a two-hour disruption due to a complex networking problem caused by its engineers.
The solution was surprisingly simple - turning the site off and on again to resolve the issue

31 July 2007:
In 2007, Facebook engineers purposefully took the site offline for maintenance, causing inconvenience to users and leading to humorous responses from brands like Nestle's KitKat.

21 October 2013:
An issue with a "read-only error" prevented users from posting status updates for over four hours, affecting thousands of other sites relying on Facebook services.

These outages underscore the technical challenges faced by even the largest tech companies like Facebook and highlight the importance of robust infrastructure and cybersecurity measures to prevent such disruptions.

Author: Mian Ashfaq

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