Why Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are down?

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are suffering continuous declines around the world. We still don’t know why this happened, but we do know how it happened.

This morning, something inside Facebook caused the company to revoke the digital records that tell computers and other devices with Internet access how to find their networks.

Doug Madory, Director of Internet Analysis at Kentik, a network monitoring company, explains that at approximately 17:39 CET, something on Facebook triggered an update to the company’s BGP records.

BGP is a mechanism by which Internet service providers worldwide share information about which providers are responsible for routing Internet traffic to which specific groups of Internet addresses.

In simpler terms, sometime this afternoon, Facebook removed the map that told computers around the world how to find its various properties online.

As a result, when someone types Facebook.com into a web browser, the browser has no idea where to find Facebook.com and therefore returns an error page.

In addition to isolating billions of users, Facebook’s unavailability also prevented its employees from communicating with each other using its internal Facebook tools.

“Not only are Facebook’s services and applications out of service to the public, its in-house tools and communication platforms, including Workplace, are also down.”tweeted New York Times tech reporter Ryan Mac. “Nobody can work.”

We don’t know how or why outages persist on Facebook and its other properties, but the changes had to come from within the company as Facebook manages these records internally. Whether the changes were made maliciously or accidentally, no one knows at this point.

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Madory said it could be that someone on Facebook screwed it up.

In the past year, we’ve seen a lot of these big outages where there’s been some kind of update to the global network settings gone wrong. Obviously, we can’t rule out someone hacking them, but they might as well have.

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