Facebook posted a blog post Monday evening attributing its multi-hour global outage to a “faulty configuration change” of its “core routers.”
In the most basic of terms, this means a technical update of the ground traffic at a standstill on the highway that is most important to company operations.
Specifically, traffic has been disrupted between Facebook’s data centers, which are the physical buildings housing the company’s servers and IT equipment.
These data centers power everything Facebook does, from its apps like Instagram and WhatsApp to internal corporate communications.
The disruption in traffic therefore did not simply take corporate applications offline. It also prevents Facebook employees from sending messages or fixes internally. And it prevented them from physically accessing the affected servers when their corporate badges – which can unlock the doors of Facebook’s facilities – failed.
This made it particularly difficult for Facebook to resolve the issue. The company ultimately restored service by sending a team to reset its servers at a data center in Santa Clara, Calif., The New York Times reported, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.
Facebook said it had “no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime.”
The company’s blog post confirmed that Facebook’s services were “back online” and apologized for the inconvenience.
The outage affected Facebook and all of its most used apps, including Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger.
Some services appeared to be back online for some users around 6 p.m. ET.
Meanwhile, the blackout has taken its toll on influencers and companies that rely on platforms, users around the world and shareholders, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Zuckerberg posted a statement on his own Facebook page apologizing for the blackout on Monday just before 7 p.m. ET.
“Sorry for the disruption today – I know how much you rely on our services to stay in touch with the people you care about,” Zuckerberg said.