Where were you when Facebook and Instagram went down for six hours? For many Internet addicts, the trauma of the “mini apocalypse” that Facebook and Instagram experienced on Monday will linger for quite some time to come. Millions of users suddenly cried out in terror when they tried to log into their accounts and the sites were seemingly gone. Before too long, the entire world was in an uproar and everyone wanted to know when Facebook and Instagram would finally be restored. Of course Twitter was still up, and so hordes of social media denizens quickly rushed over there to share what they were feeling…
A mini social media apocalypse unfolded Monday morning, and people were freaking out. With Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp all hit by a massive global outage, everyone flooded Twitter to complain, commiserate and, of course, share memes.
Even officials from Facebook and Instagram were using Twitter to update everyone on the crisis, and a lot of people found that to be quite humorous.
The irony of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram having to post on Twitter that their server is down. Hilarious, isn’t it? 😂#facebookdown #instagramdown #WhatsApp #Twitter #Instagram #Facebook #WhatsAppDown #serverdown
— Akash Munirathinam (@akash_rathinam) October 4, 2021
Initially we were told that it was a DNS issue, but it turns out that it actually went deeper than that…
The problem goes deeper than Facebook’s obvious DNS failures, though. Facebook-owned Instagram was also down, and its DNS services—which are hosted on Amazon rather than being internal to Facebook’s own network—were functional. Instagram and WhatsApp were reachable but showed HTTP 503 failures (no server is available for the request) instead, an indication that while DNS worked and the services’ load balancers were reachable, the application servers that should be feeding the load balancers were not.
A bit later, Cloudflare VP Dane Knecht reported that all BGP routes for Facebook had been pulled. (BGP—short for Border Gateway Protocol—is the system by which one network figures out the best route to a different network.)
The longer Facebook and Instagram were down, the more people started to hyperventilate, but Mark Zuckerberg had his best people working to resolve the crisis.