Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram are down and slowly returning. Why did they disappear, to begin with?

Facebook’s day-long outage is by far its longest and most extreme in years. At around 9 a.m. PDT on the U.S. West Coast — where the social giant is headquartered — Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Messenger seemed to vanish from the internet.

The outage continued through market close, with the company’s stock dropping around 5% below its opening price on Monday. By midafternoon, services were beginning to resume after Facebook reportedly dispatched a team to its Santa Clara data center to “manually reset” the company’s servers.


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But what makes the outage unique is just how extremely offline Facebook was.

In the morning, Facebook sent a brief tweet to apologize that “some people are having trouble accessing our apps and products.” Then, reports emerged that the outage was affecting not just its users, but the company itself. Employees were reportedly unable to enter their office buildings, and staff called it a “snow day” — they couldn’t get any work done because the outage also affected internal collaboration apps.

FB hasn’t commented on the cause of the outage, though security experts said evidence pointed to a problem with the company’s network that cut off FB from the wider internet and also itself.

The first signs of trouble were around 8:50 a.m. PDT in California, according to John Graham-Cumming, CTO at networking giant Cloudflare, who said Facebook “disappeared from the internet in a flurry of BGP updates” over a two-minute window, referring to BGP, or Border Gateway Protocol, the system that networks use to figure out the fastest way to send data over the internet to another network.

“To the huge community of people and businesses around the world who depend on us: we’re sorry,”

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