Mark Zuckerberg has apologised after all of Facebook’s services were knocked offline for six hours due to a faulty update of the company’s servers – as the hunt begins for the person responsible.
‘Sorry for the disruption,’ Zuckerberg – who saw an estimated $7billion wiped off his personal fortune during the outage – wrote on his personal page. ‘I know how much you rely on our services.’
But his message was immediately attacked from all sides – with some who rely on Facebook and WhatsApp for their business attacking him for not taking the issue seriously enough, while other casual users hit out at him for ‘making yourself more important than you are.’
Meanwhile thousands of others said they had enjoyed the enforced break from social media and were now thinking about spending less time online, with one quipping ‘life was way simpler without these services’. Problems began around 4.45pm UK time when Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger all stopped updating forcing users, including businesses, offline for the rest of the evening.
Facebook explained that the problem was caused by a faulty update that was sent to their core servers which effectively disconnected them from the internet. But that was only the start of the problem: Facebook runs its own systems through the same servers, meaning everything needed to fix the problem – from digital engineering tools to messaging services, even key-fob door locks – was also taken offline.
Engineers rushed to the company’s data centres to reset the servers manually, only to find they couldn’t get inside. Only after a six-hour battle with Facebook’s own infrastructure were they able to fix the issue.