Update (1905ET): Today’s Facebook whistleblower debacle and global outage cost CEO Mark Zuckerberg $6 billion of his net worth.
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Update (1829 ET): After six hours offline, the estimated global economic impact of the internet disruption for Facebook, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger comes out to nearly $1 billion.
The NetBlocks Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST) estimated the outage had a total economic impact of a whopping $968 million on the global economy.
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Update (1750 ET): Facebook is currently experiencing one of the largest global outages ever that has also taken out Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, according to Downdetector.
After a Domain Name System (DNS) issue that knocked Facebook and other related products off the internet for more than six hours, there’s a sign of life coming from Facebook’s DNS servers which are broadcasting again, according to DNS Checker.
Senior Editor at The Verge tweeted, “Facebook seems to be slowly coming back to life. I’m seeing BGP announcements and DNS is back.”
Even though Facebook’s DNS is back up, this doesn’t mean everything is fixed; the social media platform is still inaccessible to some users.
Just as a reminder, this circus show comes one day before a Facebook whistleblower is set to testify before Congress.
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Update (1507ET): Facebook appears to have more than DNS issues, as NYT’s Sheera Frenkel reports:
“Was just on phone with someone who works for FB who described employees unable to enter buildings this morning to begin to evaluate extent of outage because their badges weren’t working to access doors.”
This may suggest Facebook’s internal systems are down. DNS issues that affect the website don’t hinder employees from entering buildings.
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Update (1448ET): It’s been several hours, and Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger, are still down. According to internet researchers, Facebook appears to be dealing with a Domain Name System (DNS) issue.
Internet security researcher Brian Krebs tweeted:
Confirmed: The DNS records that tell systems how to find Facebook.com or Instagram.com got withdrawn this morning from the global routing tables. Can you imagine working at FB right now, when your email no longer works & all your internal FB-based tools fail?
To be more precise (and Geek Factor 5) the BGP routes serving Facebook’s authoritative DNS were withdrawn, rendering all Facebook domains inaccessible. That’s per @DougMadory , who knows a few things about BGP/DNS.
Searching for Facebook’s DNS records comes up empty-handed.
NBC News’ Kevin Collier called the DNS issues at Facebook “really bad.”
There’s even a ripple effect across the internet.
Meanwhile, everyone on Twitter…
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Downdector reports that Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger are experiencing issues and /or outages worldwide. The outage comes just before a Facebook whistleblower is set to testify before Congress on Tuesday.
Users began to report issues with the social media platform around 1120 ET.
Facebook users report the website won’t load with an error message that reads:
“Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”
Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone acknowledged on Twitter that “some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products.”
The timing of the widespread outages comes as a Facebook whistleblower will be testifying before Congress on Tuesday. The whistleblower appeared on “60 Minutes” Sunday, detailing the tech company’s mission to put profit before doing “what was good for the public,” including clamping down on hate speech.
Shares of the tech company slid 6% by early afternoon, tumbling not just on the whistleblower but also the global outage.
Facebook users took to Twitter to complain about the outages:
… and there’s this:
Twitter user Chad Loder tweeted: “someone nuked the DNS A and AAA records for Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.”
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey responds to Loder’s tweet and asks “how much?”
Let the conspiracy theorists run wild with today’s events:
“Facebook is down because it was trending for a whistleblower testifying before congress today. Now they are trending for being down. Clever PR stunt,” said one Twitter user.
On the bright side, with a broad part of social media platforms down today, maybe people will get back to work and boost global productivity since the outage is broad.