(Reuters) – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp went offline for users around the world, the social media giant said on Monday, as it struggled hours later to restore services after suffering one of its longest outages.
The interruption began at noon Eastern time and service had not yet been restored more than four hours later.
On Sunday, a whistleblower accused Facebook of repeatedly prioritizing profit over tightening hate speech and misinformation. The company owns Instagram and WhatsApp.
Shares on Facebook, which have nearly 2 billion active users daily, opened lower after the weekend's whistleblower report and fell further to trade down 5.3% in Monday afternoon trading. They were on the right track for their worst day in almost a year, in the middle of a wider sale of technology stocks on Monday.
Facebook was inaccessible because users were not directed to the correct location by the domain name system. Facebook itself checks the relevant settings, which indicates that the problem was internal.
Security experts said that the interruption could be due to an internal mistake, even if sabotage of an insider would be theoretically possible.
DNS allows URLs to take users to their destinations. A similar outage in the cloud company Akamai Technologies Inc. took down several websites in July.
An external notch was considered less likely.
A massive denial-of-service attack that could overwhelm one of the world's most popular websites would either require coordination between powerful criminal groups or a highly innovative technology, security experts said.
Facebook acknowledged that users had difficulty accessing their apps but did not provide details on the nature of the problem or how many were affected by the outage. .
"We are working to get back to normal as soon as possible and apologize for any inconvenience", Facebook tweeted about 30 minutes after the first reports of the outage.
A Facebook employee told Reuters that all internal tools were down. Facebook's response was made much more difficult because employees lost access to some of their own tools during the shutdown, say people who track the matter. Approximately $ 545,000 in US advertising revenue per hour during the outage, according to estimates by the advertising measurement company Standard Media Index.
Estimates were based on total Facebook and Instagram advertising spend from major advertising agencies during January to August this year. [1