Billions of users around the world this morning woke up (or went to sleep, depending on the time zone) with good news: Facebook and all its properties – WhatsApp, Instagram and Oculus – are back to work after seven hours of total blackout that panicked the planet, making the now essential link between people and the technologies necessary to communicate even more self-evident. Zuckerberg he publicly apologized with a post (“Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger are coming back online. Sorry for today’s interruption, I know how much you rely on our services to stay in touch with the people you care about”) but the impact of the “down” was worldwide.
Facebook collapse on Wall Street amid accusations of former managers and social networks on tilt
The explanation: what really happened
It all started around 5.35pm Italian time, after an internal mistake made during an internal configuration change in Facebook. What actually happened? At that moment the Internet no longer knew where to literally “find” Facebook on the net, as if it were without a map and without knowing the way to reach it.
The New York Times gathered the explanation from John Graham-Cumming, chief technology officer of Cloudflare, a web infrastructure company. The premise is that computers convert websites such as Facebook.com into numerical (IP) addresses, through a system that the expert compares to address book of a telephone. “The internal problem that occurred in Facebook – explains Graham-Cumming – was the equivalent of removing users’ phone numbers from their names in the address book, making it impossible to call each other”. It is as if the paths that allowed users to access the servers of Facebook. In practice, millions of smartphones and other devices are persistently trying to find Facebook apps on the Internet and these futile attempts generate traffic that slows down all other logins.
The real problem with this matter is that to correct this error you need to physically access peering routers (not being reachable remotely) but those who can do this do not necessarily have the necessary permissions and authentication. Also the New York Times explained that Facebook would send a team to one of its data centers in Santa Clara, in California, to reset manually i server.
But the problems did not end there, because even the simple locks on the doors of Facebook offices are “smart” and therefore for many hours they were inaccessible, with many employees who were unable to enter because their badges did not work.
Fake news and the stock market crash
Initially the news spread that it was all the responsibility of an external attack, but the mistake was exclusively an internal responsibility. And it was not a record, because another blackout of Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram in March 2019 it lasted over fourteen hours. Yesterday many users “buffered” the crisis by commenting on the worldwide down on Twitter, which is almost always invulnerable from this point of view. Those who needed to communicate moved to Telegram.
Chapter bag: Shares down more than 5% and losses of $ 6.1 billion for Mark Zuckerberg. These are the numbers of Facebook’s black day. A day that began with Facebook’s “mole” coming out into the open accusing the social network of putting profit above safety. The 37-year-old Frances Haugen showed up on the show ‘”60 minutes” denouncing that Fb is aware that its platforms spread hatred, violence and disinformation, even if it has always tried to hide it for reasons of interest.