Social media services such as “Facebook”, “WhatsApp” and “Instagram” were blocked for more than an hour.
Facebook has three services that are inaccessible to users through computers or smartphone applications.
Downtector, which monitors service failures, has recorded more than 80,000 service crash reports from WhatsApp users and more than 50,000 reports from Facebook users.
Location data indicate that user accounts around the world are down.
Some have reported problems using Facebook’s Oculus virtual reality platform.
“We know some people have trouble accessing our processors and products, and we’re working to bring things back to normal as soon as possible and apologize for the inconvenience,” Facebook said.
The company did not officially state the cause of the problem.
Internet experts have speculated that there may be an error in Facebook’s domain name system (DNS).
DNS is often compared to an address book or a directory of phone numbers, but with the Internet. It guides web browsers to the computer system that serves the website the user is looking for.
Earlier issues with the domain name system led to widespread downtime on several major websites earlier this year.
In one of those cases, it was revealed that the crash was caused by an individual who was able to change the settings of a widespread cloud service, which led to a malfunction affecting a large number of Internet sites.
It is rare for issues like this to affect a single technology company like Facebook or a problem going unresolved for a long time.
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