Facebook and Facebook-owned apps Instagram and WhatsApp have been hit by an outage on Monday affecting users around the world.
Users reported being unable to log into any of the services a little before noon eastern time on Monday. The website Downdetector, which collates complaints about web outages, said there were more than 30,000 Canadians complaining about an outage. Instagram logged 21,000 reports of outages, while there were at least 14,000 reports about WhatsApp in Canada alone.
Reports of similar outages emerged throughout the U.S., Europe, Africa and Asia.
About 30 minutes after it began, Facebook acknowledged the outage in a tweet, saying that around the world some “people are having trouble accessing Facebook app. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience.”
While the company did not disclose the reason for the outage, Doug Madory, director of internet analysis for network technology firm Kentik Inc., said it appears the routes Facebook advertises online that tell the entire internet how to reach its properties are not available.
With the Domain Name System (DNS), a server routes internet traffic to where it is supposed to go. It takes a text-based web address such as Facebook.com and sends it to the correct numerical IP address, provided it is listed on a database.
Madory said it looks like the DNS routes that Facebook makes available to the networking world have been withdrawn, which would explain why so many people are unable to access the websites and apps.
The outage comes as the social media giant is once again coming under intense scrutiny for the way it does business.
Last week, it halted plans to develop a version of its photo and video sharing app Instagram designed specifically for children.
Then over the weekend, a former manager blew the whistle on the company’s involvement in feeding the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
The whistleblower, Frances Haugen, will tell her story to U.S. lawmakers tomorrow.
–with files from CBC.ca